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Full text of "South : the story of Shackleton's last expedition, 1914-1917"

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CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 







BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME 
OF THE SAGE ENDOWMENT 
FUND GIVEN IN 1891 BY 

HENRY WILLIAMS SAGE 



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SOUTH 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

HEW YORK • BOSTON - CHICAGO • DALLAS 
ATLANTA • SAN FRANCISCO 

MACMILLAN & CO.. Limited 

LONDON • BOMBAY ■ CALCUTTA 
MELBOURNE 

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd, 

TORONTO 



m THE PEIDE OF HEE YOUTH 

Colour photog7^ap/i hy F. Hurley. 



SOUTH 

THE STORY OF SHACKLETON'S 
LAST EXPEDITION 1914-1917: BY 

SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON 

C.V.O. : WITH EIGHTY-EIGHT ILLUSTRA- 
TIONS AND DIAGRAMS 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

NEW YORK MCMXX 




k'^^'J^-^^l^ 



COPTBIGHT, 1920, 

BT THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 



Set up and electrotyped. Published January, 19M. 



1 k) 



TO 

MY COMRADES 

WHO FELL IN THE WHITE WARFARE 

OF THE SOUTH AND ON THE 

RED FIELDS OF FRANCE 

AND FLANDERS 



(^1 



\/ 



PREEACE 

Aftee the conquest of the South Pole by Amundsen who, by a 
narrow margin of days only, was in advance of the British Ex- 
pedition under Scott, there remained but one great main object of 
Antarctic journeyings — the crossing of the South Polar con- 
tinent from sea to sea. 

When I returned from the Nimrod Expedition on which we 
had to turn back from our attempt to plant the British flag on 
the South Pole, being beaten by stress of circumstances within 
ninety-seven miles of our goal, my mind turned to the crossing 
of the continent, for I was morally certain that either Amundsen 
or Scott would reach the Pole on our own route or a parallel one. 
After hearing of the Norwegian's success I began to make prepa- 
rations to start a last great journey — so that the first crossing 
of the last continent should be achieved by a British Expedition. 

We failed in this object, but the story of our attempt is the 
subject for the following pages, and I think that though failure 
in the actual accomplishment must be recorded, there are chapters 
in this book of high adventure, strenuous days, lonely nights, 
unique experiences, and, above all, records of unflinching deter- 
mination, supreme loyalty, and generous self-sacrifice on the part 
of my men which, even in these days that have witnessed the 
sacrifices of nations and regardlessness of self on the part of in- 
dividuals, still will be of interest to readers who now turn gladly 
from the red horror of war and the strain of the last five years to 
read, perhaps with more understanding minds, the tale of the 
White Warfare of the South. The struggles, the disappointments, 
and the endurance of this small party of Britishers, hidden away 
for nearly two years in the fastnesses of the Polar ice, striving to 
carry out the ordained task and ignorant of the crisis through 
which the world was passing, make a story which is unique in 
the history of Antarctic exploration. 



viii PEEFAOE 

Owing to the loss of the Endurance and the disaster to the 
Aurora, certain documents relating mainly to the organization and 
preparation of the Expedition have been lost ; but, anyhow, I had 
no intention of presenting a • detailed account of the scheme of 
preparation, storing, and other necessary but, to the general reader, 
unimportant affairs, as since the beginning of this century every 
book on Antarctic exploration has dealt fully with this matter. 
I therefore briefly place before you the inception and organiza- 
tion of the Expedition, and insert here the copy of the programme 
which I prepared in order to arouse the interest of the general 
public in the Expedition. 

The Trans-continental Party. 

The first crossing of the Antarctic Continent, from sea to sea 
via the Pole, apart from its historic value, will be a journey of 
great scientific importance. 

The distance will be roughly 1800 miles, and the first half of 
this, from the Weddell Sea to the Pole, will be over unknown 
ground. Every step will be an advance in geographical science. 
It will be learned whether the great Victoria chain of mountains, 
which has been traced from the Eoss Sea to the Pole, extends 
across the continent and thus links up (except for the ocean 
break) with the Andes of South America, and whether the great 
plateau around the Pole dips gradually towards the Weddell Sea. 
- Continuous magnetic observations will be taken on the journey. 
The route will lead towards the Magnetic Pole, and the deter- 
mination of the dip of the magnetic needle will be of importance 
in practical magnetism. The meteorological conditions will be 
carefully noted, and this should help to solve many of our weather 
problems. 

_ The glaciologist and geologist will study ice formations and 
the nature of the mountains, and this report will prove of great 
scientific interest. 

Scientific Worlc hy Other Parties. 

While the Trans-continental party is carrying out, for the Brit- 



PRErACE 



IX 



ish flag, the greatest Polar journey ever attempted, the other 
parties will be engaged in important scientific work. 

Two sledging parties will operate from the base on the Weddell 
Sea. One will travel westward towards Graham Land, making 
observations, collecting geological specimens, and proving whether 
there are mountains in that region linked up with those found on 
the other side of the Pole. 

Another party wiU travel eastward toward Enderby Land, 
carrying out a similar programme, and a third, remaining at the 
base, will study the fauna of the land and sea, and the meteorolog- 
ical conditions. 

From the Eoss Sea base, on the other side of the Pole, another 
party will push southward and will probably await the arrival of 
the Trans-continental party at the top of the Beardmore Glacier, 
near Mount Buckley, where the first seams of coal were discovered 
in the Antarctic. This region is of great importance to the geol- 
ogist, who will be enabled to read much of the history of the 
Antarctic in the rocks. 

Both the ships of the Expedition will be equipped for dredg-^ 
ing, sounding, and every variety of hydrographical work. The 
Weddell Sea ship will endeavour to trace the unknown coast-line 
of Graham Land, and from both the vessels, with their scientific 
staffs, important results may be expected. 

The several shore parties and the two ships will thus carry out 
geographical and scientific work on a scale and over an area never 
before attempted by any one Polar expedition. 

This will be the first use of the Weddell Sea as a base for ex- 
ploration, and all the parties will open up vast stretches of un- 
known land. It is appropriate that this work should be carried 
out under the British flag, since the whole of the area south- 
ward to the Pole is British territory. In July, 1908, Letters 
Patent were issued under the Great Seal, declaring that the 
Governor of the Falkland Islands should be the Governor of 
Graham Land (which forms the western side of the Weddell Sea), 
and another section of the same proclamation defines the area of 
British territory as " situated in the South Atlantic Ocean to the 



X PEEFACE 

south of the 50th parallel of south latitude, and lying between 
20 degrees and 80 degrees west longitude." Reference to a map 
will show that this includes the area in which the present Ex- 
pedition will work. 

How the Continent ivill be Crossed. 

The Weddell Sea ship, with all the members of the Expedition 
operating from that base, will leave Buenos Ayres in October, 
1914, and endeavour to land in November in latitude 78 degrees 
south. 

Should this be done, the Trans-continental party will set out 
on their 1800-mile journey at once, in the hope of accomplishing 
the march across the Pole and reaching the Poss Sea base in five 
months. Should the landing be made too late in the season, the 
party will go into winter quarters, lay ou.t depots during the au- 
tumn and the following spring, and as early as possible in 1915 
set out on the journey. 

The Trans-continental party will be led by Sir Ernest Shackle- 
ton, and will consist of six men. It will take 100 dogs with 
sledges, and two motor sledges with aerial propellers. The 
equipment will embody everything that the experience of the 
leader and his expert advisers can suggest. When this party has 
reached the area of the Pole, after covering 800 miles of un- 
known ground, it will strike due north towards the head of the 
Beardmore Glacier, and there it is hoped to meet the outcoming 
party from the Eoss Sea. Both will join up and make for the 
Eoss Sea base, where the previous Expedition had its winter 
quarters. 

In all, fourteen men will be landed by the Endurance on the 
Weddell Sea. Six will set out on the Trans-continental journey, 
three will go westward, three eastward, and two remain at the 
base carrying on the work already outlined. 

The Aurora will land six men at the Eoss Sea base. They will 
lay down depots on the route of the Trans-continental party, and 
make a march south to assist that party, and to make geological 
and other observations as already described. 



PKEFACE xi 

Should the Trans-continental party succeed, as is hoped, in 
crossing during the first season, its return to civilization may be 
expected about April, 1915. The other sections in April, 1916. 

The Ships of the Expedition. 

The two ships for the Expedition have now been selected. 

The Endurance, the ship which will take the Trans-continental 
party to the Weddell Sea, and will afterwards explore along an 
unknown coast-line, is a new vessel, specially constructed for Polar 
work under the supervision of a committee of Polar explorers. 
She was built by Christensen, the famous Norwegian constructor 
of sealing vessels, at Sandefjord. She is barquentine rigged, and 
has triple-expansion engines giving her a speed under steam of 9 
to 10 knots. To enable her to stay longer at sea, she will carry 
oil fuel as well as coal. She is of about 350 tons, and built of 
selected pine, oak, and greenheart. This fine vessel, equipped, 
has cost the Expedition £14,000. 

The Aurora, the ship which will take out the Boss Sea party, 
has been bought from Dr. Mawson. She is similar in all respects 
to the Terra Nova, of Captain Scott's last Expedition. She had 
extensive alterations made by the Government authorities in 
Australia to fit her for Dr. Mawson's Expedition, and is now at 
Hobart, Tasmania, where the Ross Sea party will join her in 
October next. 

I started the preparations in the middle of 1913, but no public 
announcement was made until January 13, 1914. Eor the last 
six months of 1913 I was engaged in the necessary preliminaries, 
solid mule work, showing nothing particular to interest the pub- 
lic, but essential for an Expedition that had to have a ship on 
each side of the Continent, with a land journey of eighteen hun- 
dred miles to be made, the first nine hundred miles to be across 
an absolutely unknown land mass. 

On January 1, 1914, having received a promised financial 
support sufficient to warrant the announcement of the Expedition, 
I made it public. 



Xll 



PREFACE 



The first result of this was a flood of applications from all classes 
of the community to join the adventure. I received nearly five 
thousand applications, and out of tkese were picked fifty-six men. 

In March, to my great disappointment and anxiety, the prom- 
ised financial help did not materialize, and I was now faced with 
the fact that I had contracted for a ship and stores, and had en- 
gaged the staff, and I was not in possession of funds to meet these 
liabilities. I immediately set about appealing for help, and met 
with generous response from all sides. I cannot here give the 
names of all who supported my application, but whilst taking 
this opportunity of thanking everyone for their support, which 
came from parts as far apart as the interior of China, Japan, New 
Zealand, and Australia, I must particularly refer to the munif- 
icent donation of £24,000 from the late Sir James Caird, and 
to one of £10,000 from the British Government. I must also 
thank Mr. Dudley Docker, who enabled me to complete the pur- 
chase of the Endurance, and Miss Elizabeth Dawson Lambton, 
who since 1901 has always been a firm friend to Antarctic ex- 
ploration, and who again, on this occasion, assisted largely. The 
Eoyal Geographical Society made a grant of £1000 ; and last, but 
by no means least, I take this opportunity of tendering my grate- 
ful thanks to Dame Janet Stancomb-Wills, whose generosity en- 
abled me to equip the Endurance efficiently, especially as regards 
boats (which boats were the means of our ultimate safety), and 
who not only, at the inception of the Expedition, gave financial 
help, but also continued it through the dark days when we were 
overdue, and funds were required to meet the need of the de- 
pendents of the Expedition. 

The only return and privilege an explorer has in the way of 
acknowledgment for the help accorded him is to record on the dis- 
covered lands the names of those to whom the Expedition owes its 
being. 

Owing to the exigences of the war the publication of this book 
has been long delayed, and the detailed maps must come with the 
scientific monographs ; I have the honour to place on the new land 
the names of the above and other generous donors to the Ex- 



PREFACE xiii 

pedition. Tlie two hundred miles of new coast-line I have called 
Caird Coast. Also, as a more personal note, I named the three 
ship's boats, in which we ultimately escaped from the grip of the 
ice after the three principal donors to the Expedition — the 
James Caird, the Stancomb-Wills, and the Dudley Docker. The 
two last-named are still on the desolate, sandy spit of Elephant 
Island, where under their shelter twenty-two of my comrades eked 
out a bare existence for four and a half months. 

The James Caird is now in Liverpool, having been brought 
home from South Georgia after her adventurous voyage across 
the sub- Antarctic Ocean. 

Most of the Public Schools of England and Scotland helped 
the Expedition to purchase the dog teams, and I named a dog 
after each school that helped. But apart from these particular 
donations I again thank the many people who assisted us. 

So the equipment and organization went on. I purchased the 
Aurora from Sir Douglas Mawson, and arranged for Mackintosh 
to go to Australia and take charge of her, there sending sledges, 
equipment, and most of the stores from this side, but depending 
somewhat on the sympathy and help of Australia and New Zea- 
land for coal and certain other necessities, knowing that previously 
these two countries had always generously supported the explor- 
ation of what one might call their hinterland. 

Towards the end of July all was ready, when suddenly the war 
clouds darkened over Europe. 

It had been arranged for the Eyidurance to proceed to Cowes, 
to be inspected by His Majesty on the Monday of Cowes week. 
But on Friday I received a message to say that the King would 
not be able to go to Cowes. My readers will remember how sud- 
denly came the menace of war. Naturally both my comrades and 
I were greatly exercised as to the probable outcome of the danger 
threatening the peace of the world. 

We sailed from London on Friday, August 1, 1914, and an- 
chored off Southend all Saturday. On Sunday afternoon I took 
the ship off Margate, growing hourly more anxious as the ever- 
increasing rumours spread ; and on Monday morning I went ashore 



xiv PREFACE 

and read in the morning paper the order for general mobiliza- 
tion. 

I immediately went on board and mustered all hands and told 
them that I proposed to send a telegram to the Admiralty offering 
the ships, stores, and, if they agreed, our own services to the 
country in the event of war breaking out. All hands immediately 
agreed, and I sent off a telegram in which everything was placed 
at the disposal of the Admiralty. We only asked that, in the 
event of the declaration of war, the Expedition might be con- 
sidered as a single unit, so as to preserve its homogeneity. There 
were enough trained and experienced men amongst us to man a 
destroyer. Within an hour I received a laconic wire from the 
Admiralty saying " Proceed." Within two hours a longer wire 
came from Mr. Winston Churchill, in which we were thanked for 
our offer, and saying that the authorities desired that the Ex- 
pedition, which had the full sanction and support of the Scientific 
and Geographical Societies, should go on. 

So, according to these definite instructions, the Endurance sailed 
to Plymouth. On Tuesday the King sent for me and handed me 
the Union Jack to carry on the Expedition. That night, at mid- 
night, war broke out. On the following Saturday, August 8, the 
Endurance sailed from Plymouth, obeying the direct orders of 
the Admiralty. I make particular reference to this phase of the 
Expedition as I am aware that there was a certain amount of 
criticism of the Expedition having left the country, and regarding 
this I wish further to add that the preparation of the Expedition 
had been proceeding for over a year, and large sums of money 
had been spent. We offered to give the Expedition up without 
even consulting the donors of this money, and but few thought 
that the war would last through these five years and involve the 
whole world. The Expedition was not going on a peaceful cruise 
to the South Sea Islands, but to a most dangerous, difiicult, and 
strenuous work that has nearly always involved a certain per- 
centage of loss of life. Finally, when the Expedition did return, 
practically the whole of those members who had come unscathed 



PREFACE XV 

through the dangers of the Antarctic took their places in the wider 
field of battle, and the percentage of casualties amongst the mem- 
hers of this Expedition is high. 

The voyage out to Buenos Ayres was uneventful, and on Octo- 
ber 26 we sailed from that port for South Georgia, the most 
southerly outpost of the British Empire. Here, for a month, we 
were engaged in final preparation. The last we heard of the war 
was when we left Buenos Ayres. Then the Eussian Steam-EoUer 
was advancing. According to many the war would be over within 
six months. And so we left, not without regret that we could 
not take our place there, but secure in the knowledge that we 
were taking part in a strenuous campaign for the credit of our 
country. 

Apart from private individuals and societies I here acknowl- 
edge most gratefully the assistance rendered by the Dominion 
Government of New Zealand and the Commonwealth Government 
of Australia at the start of the Eoss Sea section of the Expedition, 
and to the people of New Zealand and the Dominion Government 
I tender my most grateful thanks for their continued help which 
was invaluable during the dark days before the relief of the Eoss 
Sea party. 

I tender my most grateful thanks to Mr. James Allen (acting 
Premier), the late Mr. McNab (Minister of Marine), Mr. Leon- 
ard Tripp, Mr. Mabin, and Mr. Toogood, and many others who 
have laid me under a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. 
Sir Daniel Gooch came with us as far as South Georgia. I owe 
him my special thanks for his help with the dogs, and we all re- 
gretted losing his cheery presence when we sailed for the South. 

This is also the opportunity for me to thank the Uruguayan 
Government for their generous assistance in placing the govern- 
ment trawler, Imtituto de Pesca, for the second attempt at the re- 
lief of my men on Elephant Island. 

Finally, it was the Chilian Government that was directly re- 
sponsible for the rescue of my comrades. This southern Eepublic 
was unwearied in their efforts to make a successful rescue, and the 



xvi PKEFAOE 

gratitude of our whole party is due to them. I especially men- 
tion the sympathetic attitude of Admiral Mufioz Hurtado, head 
of the Chilian Navy, and Captain Luis Pardo, who commanded 
the Yelcho on our last and successful venture. 



CONTENTS 

CHAFTEB PAGE 

I. INTO THE WEDDELL SEA 1 

n. NEW LAND 19 

m. WINTER MONTHS 38 

IV. LOSS OF THE ENDURANCE 63 

V. OCEAN CAMP 87 

VI. THE MARCH BETWEEN 103 

Vn. PATIENCE CAMP 108 

Vm. ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 118 

IX. THE BOAT JOURNEY 158 

X. ACROSS SOUTH GEORGIA 199 

XI. THE RESCUE 213 

Xn. ELEPHANT ISLAND 225 

Xin. THE ROSS SEA PARTY 244 

XIV. WINTERING IN MoMURDO SOUND 266 

XV. LAYING THE DEPOTS 279 

XVI. THE AURORA'S DRIFT 309 

XVn. THE LAST RELIEF 340 

XVIII. THE FINAL PHASE 344 

APPENDIX I: 

SCIENTIFIC WORK 349 

SEA-ICE NOMENCLATURE 350 

METEOROLOGY 353 

PHYSICS 357 

SOUTH ATLANTIC WHALES AND WHALING . . . .362 

APPENDIX II: 

THE EXPEDITION HUTS AT McMURDO SOUND . . 371 

INDEX 375 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACING 
PAGE 

In the Phidk of Her Youth. Colour Photograph hy F. 

Surley Frontispiece 

The Leader 4 

The Weddell Sea-Party 5 

Young Emperor Penguins 8 

A Huge Floe of Consolidated Pack 9 

Samson 12 

Ice-Plowers 13 

Midnight off the New Land 24 

New Land: Caird Coast 25 

Close under the Barrier 28 

Trying to cut a way for the Ship through the Ice to a Lead ahead 

(February 14, 1915) 29 

The Night Watchman's Story 36 

The Dying Sun : The Endurance firmly frozen in 3Y 

The Eampart Berg 40 

A Bi-Weekly Performance : Scrubbing out the " Ritz " .... 41 

Pylon Avenue 44 

The Long Long Night 45 

The Pups 50 

lee-Pressure at Midwinter 51 

Ice-Eafting 56 

The Eeturning Sun 57 

Wild and Shackleton in the Heavy Pressure 60 

Exercising the Dogs 61 

Crab-eater Seals 66 

The Beginning of the End 67 

"Within a few Seconds she heeled over until she had a List of 

Thirty Degrees to Port" 70 

Almost Overwhelmed 71 

" The Driving Floe, moving laterally across the Stern split the 

Eudder and tore out the Eudder-Post and Stem-Post " . . .76 

The End 77 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACING 
PAGE 

A Week Later 80 

" The Wreckage lies around in Dismal Confusion " 81 

The rirst Attempt to reach the Land Three-Hundred-and-Forty- 

Six Miles away 84 

Ocean Camp 85 

The Look-out at Ocean Camp 90 

The Emergency Sledges being packed in case of a sudden break up 

of the Ice 91 

The Sledges packed and ready 100 

Eelaying the James Oaird 101 

Potash and Perlmutter 106 

" Loneliness " : Patience Camp 107 

The Kitchen at Patience Camp 110 

The Stove at Patience Camp constructed out of old Oil-drums . . Ill 
Worsley taking Observations of the Sun to determine our Position . 116 
"We cut Steps in this Twenty-five Foot Slab and it makes a fine 

Look-out" 117 

" There was no Sleep for us that Night, so we lit the Blubber Stove " 122 

Hauling up the Boats for the Night 123 

The Eeeling Berg 131 

Sailing South Again 131 

The First Landing ever made on Elephant Island, April 15, 1916 . 144 
" We Pulled the Three Boats a little Higher on the Beach " . . .145 
The First Drink and Hot Food for Three-and-a-Half Days . . .148 

Mount Frank Houlder, Elephant Island 149 

Launching the James Oaird 164 

The Stancomh-Wilh 165 

In Sight of our Goal: Nearing South Georgia 180 

Landing on South Georgia 181 

Sea Elephants on South Georgia 194 

The Cliffs we descended whilst crossing the Island 195 

One of the Glaciers we Crossed 202 

A Typical View in South Georgia 203 

Panorama of South Georgia Between pp. 210-211 

The Yelcho 214 

Arrival at Punta Arenas with the Rescued Men 222 

Frank Wild, Second in Command of the Expedition 223 

Our Dugout 226 

The Hut on Elephant Island 227 



LIST OF ILLUSTEATIONS 

FAOINa 

View of Interior of Hut on Elephant Island 230 

Marooned on Elephant Island 231 

Elephant Island 236 

The Kescue Ship Sighted 237 

"All Safe! All WeU!"- U2 

View through a Cave on Elephant Island 243 

The Aurora 256 

Ice Stalactites at the Entrance to a Cave on Elephant Island . . . 25Y 

A Newly-frozen Lead 270 

The Eoss Sea Party 271 

Mackintosh and Spencer- Smith being dragged on the sledge . . . 294 

" The Rudder was bent over to Starboard and Smashed " . . . . 295 

" Next Morning the Jury-Eudder was Shipped " 338 

Ice Nomenclature : 1. Young Ice (Bay Ice of Scoresby) in the Mid- 
dle Distance 340 

2. Light Pack 341 

3. Heavy Hummocked Pack 342 

4. Hummocky Pack and Frozen Lead of Toung-Ice 343 

5. Close Pack 344 

6. Open Pack 345 

7. Very Open Pack, approximating to Drift-ice 346 

8. Drift-Ice 347 

"The Eookery" 356 

The Anemometer covered with Eime . ■ 357 

Map — The Voyage of the Endurance 374 

Index 375 



CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

CHAPTER I 

INTOi THE "WEIDDECLI, SEA 

I HAD decided to leave South Georgia about December 5, and in 
tbe intervals of final preparation scanned again the plans for the 
voyage to winter quarters. What vfelcome vras the Weddell Sea 
preparing for us ? The whaling captains at South Georgia were 
generously ready to share with me their knowledge of the waters 
in which they pursued their trade, and, while confirming earlier 
information as to the extreme severity of the ice conditions in this 
sector of the Antarctic, they were able to give advice that was worth 
attention. 

It will be convenient to state here briefly some of the considera- 
tions that weighed with me at that time and in the weeks that 
followed. I knew that the ice had come far north that season, 
and, after listening to the suggestions of the whaling captains, had 
decided to steer to the South Sandwich Group, round Ultima 
Thule, and work as far to the eastward as the fifteenth meridian 
west longitude before pushing south. The whalers emphasized 
the difficulty of getting through the ice in the neighbourhood of 
the South Sandwich Group. They told me they had often seen 
the floes come right up to the Group in the summer-time, and they 
thought the Expedition would have to push through heavy pack in 
order to reach the Weddell Sea. Probably the best time to get 
into the Weddell Sea would be the end of February or the begin- 
ning of March. The whalers had gone right round the South 
Sandwich Group and they were familiar with the conditions. 
The predictions they made had induced me to take the deck-load of 
coal, for if we had to fight our way through to Coats' Land we 
would need every ton of fuel the ship could carry. 

I hoped that by first moving to the east as far as the fifteenth 

I 



2 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

meridian west we would be able to go south through looser ice, 
pick up Coats' Land and finally reach Vahsel Bay, where Filchner 
made his attempt at landing in 1912. Two considerations were 
occupying my mind at this juncture. I was anxious for certain 
reasons to winter the Endurance in the Weddell Sea, but the diffi- 
culty of finding a safe harbour might be very great. If no safe 
harbour cotild be found, the ship must winter at South Georgia. 
It seemed to me hopeless now to think of making the journey across 
the continent in the first summer, as the season was far advanced 
and the ice conditions were likely to prove unfavourable. In 
view of the possibility of wintering the ship in the ice, we took 
extra clothing from the stores at the various stations in South 
Georgia. 

The other question that was giving me anxious thought was the 
size of the shore party. If the ship had to go out during the 
winter, or if she broke away from winter quarters, it would be 
preferable to have only a small, carefully selected party of men 
ashore after the hut had been built and the stores landed. These 
men could proceed to lay out depots by man-haulage and make 
short journeys with the dogs, training them for the long early 
march in the following spring. The majority of the scientific 
men would live aboard the ship, where they could do their work 
under good conditions. They would be able to make short jour- 
neys, if required, using the Endurance as a base. All these plans 
were based on an expectation that the finding of winter quarters 
was likely to be difficult. If a really safe base could be established 
on the continent, I would adhere to the original programme of 
sending one party to the south, one to the west round the head of 
the Weddell Sea towards Graham Land, and one to the east to- 
wards Enderby Land. 

We had worked out details of distances, courses, stores required, 
and so forth. Our sledging ration, the result of experience as well 
as close study, was perfect. The dogs gave promise, after train- 
ing, of being able to cover fifteen to twenty miles a day with 
loaded sledges. The trans-continental journey, at this rate, should 
be completed in 120 days unless some unforeseen obstacle inter- 



INTO THE WEDDELL SEA 3 

vened. We longed keenly for the day when we could begin this 
march, the last great adventure in the history of South Polar 
exploration, but a knowledge of the obstacles that lay between us 
and our starting-point served as a curb on impatience. Every- 
thing depended upon the landing. If we could land at Eilchner's 
base there was no reason why a band of experienced men should 
not winter there in safety. But the Weddell Sea was notoriously 
inhospitable, and already we knew that its sternest face was turned 
towards us. All the conditions in the Weddell Sea are unfavour- 
able from the navigator's point of view. The winds are compara- 
tively light, and consequently new ice can form even in the sum- 
mer-time. The absence of strong winds has the additional effect 
of allowing the ice to accumulate in masses, undisturbed. Then 
great quantities of ice sweep along the coast from the east under 
the influence of the prevailing current, and fill up the bight of the 
Weddell Sea as they move north in a great semicircle. Some of 
this ice doubtless describes almost a complete circle, and is held up 
eventually, in bad seasons, against the South Sandwich Islands. 
The strong currents, pressing the ice masses against the coasts, 
create heavier pressure than is found in any other part of the 
Antarctic. This pressure must be at least as severe as the pres- 
sure experienced in the congested North Polar basin, and I am 
inclined to think that a comparison would be to the advantage of 
the Arctic. All these considerations naturally had a bearing 
upon our immediate problem, the penetration of the pack and the 
finding of a safe harbour on the continental coast. 

The day of departure arrived. I gave the order to heave 
anchor at 8.45 a.m. on December 5, 1914, and the clanking of the 
windlass broke for us the last link with civilization. The morn- 
ing was dull and overcast, with occasional gusts of snow and 
sleet, but hearts were light aboard the Endurance. The long days 
of preparation were over and the adventure lay ahead. 

We had hoped that some steamer from the north would bring 
news of the war and perhaps letters from home before our de- 
parture. A ship did arrive on the evening of the 4th, but she car- 
ried no letters, and nothing useful in the way of information 



4 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

could be gleaned from her. The captain and crew were all stoutly 
pro-German, and the " news " they had to give took the unsatis- 
fying form of accounts of British and Erench reverses. We 
would have been glad to have had the latest tidings from a friend- 
lier source. A year and a half later we were to learn that the 
Harpoon, the steamer which tends the Grytviken station, had ar- 
rived with mail for us not more than two hours after the Endur- 
ance had proceeded down the coast. 

The bows of the Endurance were turned to the south, and the 
good ship dipped to the south-westerly swell. Misty rain fell 
during the forenoon, but the weather cleared later in the day, and 
we had a good view of the coast of South Georgia as we moved 
under steam and sail to the south-east. The course was laid to 
carry us clear of the island and then south of South Thule, Sand- 
wich Group. The wind freshened during the day, and all square 
sail was set, with the foresail reefed in order to give the look-out 
a clear view ahead; for we did not wish to risk contact with a 
" growler," one of those treacherous fragments of ice that float 
with surface awash. The ship was very steady in the quarterly 
sea, but certainly did not look as neat and trim as she had done 
when leaving the shores of England four months earlier. We had 
filled up with coal at Grytviken, and this extra fuel was stored 
on deck, where it impeded movement considerably. The car- 
penter had built a false deck, extending from the poop-deck to the 
chart-room. We had also taken aboard a ton of whale-meat for 
the dogs. The big chunks of meat were hung up in the rigging, 
out of reach but not out of sight of the dogs, and as the Endurance 
rolled and pitched, they watched with wolfish eyes for a windfall. 

I was greatly pleased with the dogs, which were tethered about 
the ship in the most comfortable positions we could find for them. 
They were in excellent condition, and I felt that the expedition 
had the right tractive-power. They were big, sturdy animals, 
chosen for endurance and strength, and if they were as keen to 
pull our sledges as they were now to fight one another all would 
be well. The men in charge of the dogs were doing their work 
enthusiastically, and the eagerness they showed to study the na- 



INTO THE WEDDELL SEA 5 

tures and habits of their charges gave promise of efficient han- 
dling and good work later on. 

During December 6 the Endurance made good progress on a 
south-easterly course. The northerly breeze had freshened during 
the night and had brought up a high following sea. The weather 
was hazy, and we passed two bergs, several growlers, and numer- 
ous lumps of ice. Staff and crew were settling down to the rou- 
tine. Bird life was plentiful, and we noticed Cape pigeons, 
whale-birds, terns, moUymauks, nellies, sooty, and wandering 
albatrosses in the neighbourhood of the ship. The course was laid 
for the passage between Sanders Island and Candlemas Volcano. 
December Y brought the first check. At six o'clock that morning 
the sea, which had been green in colour all the previous day, 
changed suddenly to a deep indigo. The ship was behaving well 
in a rough sea, and some members of the scientific staff were trans- 
ferring to the bunkers the coal we had stowed on deck. Sanders 
Island and Candlemas were sighted early in the afternoon, and 
the Endurance passed between them at 6 p.m. Worsley's obser- 
vations indicated that Sanders Island was, roughly, three miles 
east and five miles north of the charted position. Large num- 
bers of bergs, mostly tabular in form, lay to the west of the islands, 
and we noticed that many of them were yellow with diatoms. 
One berg had large patches of red-brown soil down its sides. The 
presence of so many bergs was ominous, and immediately after 
passing between the islands we encountered stream-ice. All sail 
was taken in and we proceeded slowly under steam. Two hours 
later, fifteen miles north-east of Sanders Island, the Endurance 
was confronted by a belt of heavy pack-ice, half a mile broad 
and extending north and south. There was clear water beyond, 
but the heavy south-westerly swell made the pack impenetrable 
in our neighbourhood. This was disconcerting. The noon lat- 
itude had been 57° 26' S., and I had not expected to find pack-ice 
nearly so far north, though the whalers had reported pack right 
up to South Thule. 

The situation became dangerous that night. We pushed into 
the pack in the hope of reaching open water beyond, and found 



6 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

ourselves after dark in a pool whicli was growing smaller and 
smaller. The ice was grinding around the ship in the heavy 
swell, and I watched with some anxiety for any indication of a 
change of wind to the east, since a breeze from that quarter 
would have driven us towards the land. Worsley and I were on 
deck all night, dodging the pack. At 3 a.m. we ran south, tak- 
ing advantage of some openings that had appeared, but met heavy 
rafted pack-ice, evidently old; some of it had been subjected to. 
severe pressure. Then we steamed north-west and saw open 
water to the north-east. I put the Endurance's head for the open- 
ing, and, steaming at full speed, we got clear. Then we went east 
in the hope of getting better ice, and five hours later, after some 
dodging, we rounded the pack and were able to set sail once 
more. This initial tussle with the pack had been exciting at 
times. Pieces of ice and bergs of all sizes were heaving and 
jostling against each other in the heavy south-westerly swell. In 
spite of all our care the Endurance struck large lumps stem on, 
but the engines were stopped in time and no harm was done. 
The scene and sounds throughout the day were very fine. The 
swell was dashing against the sides of huge bergs and leaping 
right to the top of their icy cliifs. Sanders Island lay to the 
south, with a few rocky faces peering through the misty, swirling 
clouds that swathed it most of the time, the booming of the sea 
running into ice caverns, the swishing break of the swell on the 
loose pack, and the graceful bowing and undulating of the inner 
pack to the steeply rolling swell, which here was robbed of its 
break by the masses of ice to windward. 

We skirted the northern edge of the pack in clear weather with 
a light south-westerly breeze and an overcast sky. The bergs 
were numerous. During the morning of December 9 an easterly 
breeze brought hazy weather with snow, and at 4.30 p.m. we en- 
countered the edge of pack-ice in lat. 58° 27' S., long. 22° 08' W. 
It was one-year-old ice interspersed with older pack, all heavily 
snow-covered and lying west-south-west to east-north-east. We en- 
tered the pack at 5 p.m., but could not make progress, and cleared 
it again at Y.40 p.m. Then we steered east-north-east and spent 



INTO THE WEDDELL SEA Y 

the rest of the night rounding the pack. During the day we had 
seen adelie and ringed penguins, also several humpback and finner 
-whales. An ice-blink to the westward indicated the presence of 
pack in that direction. After rounding the pack we steered S. 
40° E., and at noon on the 10th had reached lat. 58° 28' S., long. 
20° 28' W. Observations showed the compass variation to be 
ll^° less than the chart recorded. I kept the Endurance on the 
course till midnight, when we entered loose open ice about ninety 
miles south-east of our noon position. This ice proved to fringe 
the pack, and progress became slow. There was a long easterly 
swell with a light northerly breeze, and the weather was clear 
and fine. Numerous bergs lay outside the pack. 

The Endurance steamed through loose open ice till 8 a.m. on 
the 11th, when we entered the pack in lat. 59° 46' S., long. 18° 
22' W. We could have gone further east, but the pack extended 
far in that direction, and an effort to circle it might have in- 
volved a lot of northing. I did not wish to lose the benefit of the 
original southing. The extra miles would not have mattered to a 
ship with larger coal capacity than the Endurance possessed, but 
we could not afford to sacrifice miles unnecessarily. The pack 
was loose and did not present great difficulties at this stage. The 
foresail was set in order to take advantage of the northerly breeze. 
The ship was in contact with the ice occasionally and received 
some heavy blows. Once or twice she was brought up all stand- 
ing against solid pieces, but no harm was done. The chief con- 
cern was to protect the propeller and rudder. If a collision seemed 
to be inevitable the officer in charge would order " slow " or 
" half speed " with the engines, and put the helm over so as to 
strike the floe a glancing blow. Then the helm would be put over 
towards the ice with the object of throwing the propeller clear 
of it, and the ship would forge ahead again. Worsley, Wild, 
and I, -with, three officers, kept three watches while we were working 
through the pack, so that we had two officers on deck all the time. 
The carpenter had rigged a six-foot wooden semaphore on the 
bridge to enable the navigating officer to give the seamen or 
scientists at the wheel the direction and the exact amount of helm 



8 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

required. This device saved time as well as the effort of shout- 
ing. We were pushing through this loose pack all day, and the 
view from the crow's-nest gave no promise of improved condi- 
tions ahead. A Weddell seal and a crab-eater seal were noticed 
on the floes, hut we did not pause to secure fresh meat. It was 
important that we should make progress towards our goal as 
rapidly as possible, and there was reason to fear that we should 
have plenty of time to spare later on if the ice conditions con- 
tinued to increase in severity. 

On the morning of December 12 we were working through loose 
pack v/hich later became thick in places. The sky was overcast 
and light snow was falling. I had all square sail set at 7 a.m. in 
order to take advantage of the northerly breeze, but it had to come 
in again five hours later when the wind hauled round to the west. 
The noon position was lat. 60° 26' S., long. 17° 58' W., and the 
run for the twenty-four hours had been only 33 miles. The ice 
was still badly congested, and we were pushing through narrow 
leads and occasional openings with the floes often close abeam on 
either side. Antarctic, snow, and stormy petrels, fulmars, white- 
rumped terns, and adelies were around us. The quaint little pen- 
guins found the ship a cause of much apparent excitement and 
provided a lot of amusement aboard. One of the standing jokes 
was that all the adelies on the floe seemed to know Clark and, 
when he was at the wheel, rushed along as fast as their legs could 
carry them, yelling out " Clark ! Clark ! " and apparently very 
indignant and perturbed that he never waited for them or even 
answered them. 

We found several good leads to the south in the evening, and 
continued to work southward throughout the night and the fol- 
lowing day. The pack extended in all directions as far as the eye 
could reach. The noon observation showed the run for the 
twenty-four hours to be 54 miles, a satisfactory result under the 
conditions. Wild shot a young Eoss seal on the floe, and we 
manoeuvred the ship alongside. Hudson jumped down, bent a 
line on to the seal, and the pair of them were hauled up. The 
seal was 4 ft. 9 in. long and weighed about ninety pounds. He 








2; 

Qi 

O 

Cm 



o 




INTO THE WEDDELL SEA 9 

was a young male and proved very good eating, but when dressed 
and minus the bluhber made little more than a square meal for 
our twenty-eight men, with a few scmps for our breakfast and tea. 
The stomach contained only amphipods about an inch long, allied 
to those found in the whales at Grytviken. 

The conditions became harder on December 14. There was 
a misty haze, and occasional falls of snow. A few bergs were in 
sight. The pack was denser than it had been on the previous 
days. Older ice was intermingled with the young ice, and our 
progress, became slower. The propeller received several blows 
in the early morning, but no damage was done. A platform was 
rigged under the jibboom in order that Hurley might secure some 
kinematograph pictures of the ship breaking through the ice. 
The young ice did not present difficulties to the Endurance, which 
was able to smash a way through, but the lumps of older ice 
were more formidable obstacles, and conning the ship was a task 
requiring close attention. The most careful navigation could not 
prevent an occasional bump against ice too thick to be broken or 
pushed aside. The southerly breeze strengthened to a moderate 
south-westerly gale during the afternoon, and at 8 p.m. we hove 
to, stem against a floe, it being impossible to proceed without 
serious risk of damage to rudder or propeller. I was interested to 
notice that, although we had been steaming through the pack for 
three days, the north-westerly swell still held with us. It added 
to the difficulties of navigation in the lanes, since the ice was 
constantly in movement. 

The Endurance remained against the floe for the next twenty- 
four hours, when the gale moderated. The pack extended to the 
horizon in all directions and was broken by innumerable narrow 
lanes. Many bergs were in sight, and they appeared to be travel- 
ling through the pack in a south-westerly direction under the 
current influence. Probably the pack itself was moving north- 
east with the gale. Clark put down a net in search of specimens, 
and at two fathoms it was carried south-west by the current and 
fouled the propeller. He lost the net, two leads, and a line. 
Ten bergs drove to the south through the pack during the twenty- 



10 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

four hours. The noon' position was lat. 61° 31' S., long. 18° 12' 
W. The gale had moderated at 8 p.m., and we made five miles 
to the south before midnight and then stopped at the end of a long 
lead, waiting till the weather cleared. It was during this short 
run that the captain, with semaphore hard-a-port, shouted to the 
scientist at the wheel : " Why in Paradise don't you port ! " 
The answer came in indignant tones : " I am blowing my nose." 

The Endurance made some progress on the following day. 
Long leads of open water ran towards the south-west, and the ship 
smashed at full speed through occasional areas of young ice till 
brought up with a heavy thud against a section of older floe. 
Worsley was out on the jibboom end for a few minutes while 
Wild was conning the ship, and he came back with a glowing 
account of a novel sensation. The boom was swinging high and 
low and from side to side, while the massive bows of the ship 
smashed through the ice, splitting it across, piling it mass on mass 
and then shouldering it aside. The air temperature was 37° 
Fahr., pleasantly warm, and the water temperature 29° Fahr. 
We continued to advance through, fine long leads till 4 a.m. on 
December 17, when the ice became difficult again. Very large 
floes of six-months-old ice lay close together. Some of these floes 
presented a square mile of unbroken surface, and among them 
were patches of thin ice and several floes of heavy old ice. Many 
bergs were in sight, and the course became devious. The ship 
was blocked at one point by a wedge-shaped piece of floe, but we 
put the ice-anchor through it, towed it astern, and proceeded 
through the gap. Steering under these conditions required muscle 
as well as nerve. There was a clatter aft during the afternoon, 
and Hussey, who was at the wheel, explained that : " The wheel 
spun round and threw me over the top of it. " The noon posi- 
tion was lat. 62° 13' S., long. 18° 53' W., and the run for the pre- 
ceding twenty-four hours had been 32 miles in a south-westerly 
direction. We saw three blue whales during the day and one 
emperor penguin, a 58-lb. bird, which was added to the larder. 

The morning of December 18 found the Endv.ru '^l^'^^voceeAing 
amongst large floes with thin ice between them. ''The leads were 



INTO THE WEDDELL SEA 11 

few. There was a northerly breeze with occasional snow-flurries. 
We secured three crab-eater seals — two cows and a bull. The 
bull was a fine specimen, nearly white all over and 9 ft. 3 in. 
long; he weighed 600 lb. Shortly before noon further progress 
was barred by heavy pack, and we put an ice-anchor on the floe 
and banked the fires. I had been prepared for evil conditions in 
the Weddell Sea, but had hoped that in December and January, 
at any rate, the pack would be loose, even if no open water was 
to be found. What we were actually encountering was fairly 
dense pack of a very obstinate character. Pack-ice might be de- 
scribed as a gigantic and interminable jigsaw puzzle devised by 
nature. The parts of the puzzle in loose pack have floated 
slightly apart and become disarranged; at numerous places they 
have pressed together again; as the pack gets closer the congested 
areas grow larger and the parts are jammed harder till finally it 
becomes " close pack," when the whole of the jigsaw puzzle be- 
comes jammed to such an extent that it can with care and labour 
be traversed in every direction on foot. Where the parts do not 
fit closely there is, of course, open water, which freezes over in a 
few hours after giving off volumes of " frost-smoke." In obe- 
dience to renewed pressure this young ice " rafts," so forming 
double thicknesses of a toffee-like consistency. Again the oppos- 
ing edges of heavy floes rear up in slow and almost silent conflict, 
till high " hedgerows " are formed round each part of the puzzle. 
At the junction of several floes chaotic areas of piled-up blocks 
and masses of ice are formed. Sometimes 5-ft. to 6-ft. piles of 
evenly shaped blocks of ice are seen so neatly laid that it seems 
impossible for them to be Nature's work. Again, a winding can- 
yon may be traversed between icy walls 6 ft. to 10 ft. high, or a 
dome may be formed that under renewed pressure bursts upward 
like a volcano. All through the winter the drifting pack changes 
— grows by freezing, thickens by rafting, and^ corrugates by pres- 
sure. If, flnally, in its drift it impinges on a coast, such as the 
western sbor- of the Weddell Sea, terrific pressure is set up and 
an inferno of ice-blocks, ridges, and hedgerowB results, extending 
possibly for 1' • or 200 miles off shore. Sections of pressure ice 



12 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

may drift away subsequently and become embedded in new ice. 
I bave given this brief explanation here in order that the reader 
may understand the nature of the ice through which we pushed 
our way for many hundreds of miles. Another point that may 
require to be explained was the delay caused by wind while we 
were in the pack. When a strong breeze or moderate gale was 
blowing the ship could not safely work through any except young 
ice, up to about two feet in thickness. As ice of that nature never 
extended for more than a mile or so, it followed that in a gale 
in the pack we had always to lie to. The ship was 3 ft. 3 in. 
down by the stern, and while this saved the propeller and rudder 
a good deal, it made the Evdurance practically unmanageable 
in close pack when the wind attained a force of six miles an hour 
from ahead, since the air currents had such a big surface forward 
to -act upon. The pressure of wind on bows and the yards of the 
foremast would cause the bows to faU away, and in these condi- 
tions the ship could not be steered into the narrow lanes and leads 
through which we had to thread our way. The falling away of 
the bows, moreover, would tend to bring the stern against the 
ice, compelling us to stop the engines in order to save the pro- 
peller. Then the ship would become unmanageable and drift 
away, with the possibility of getting excessive stemway on her and 
so damaging rudder or propeller, the Achilles' heel of a ship in 
pack-ice. 

While we were waiting for the weather to moderate and the ice 
to open, I had the Lucas sounding-machine rigged over the rudder- 
trunk and found the depth to be 2810 fathoms. The bottom 
sample was lost, owing to the line parting 60 fathoms from the 
end. During the afternoon three adelie penguins approached the 
ship across the floe while Hussey was discoursing sweet music on 
the banjo. The solemn-looking little birds appeared to appreciate 
" It's a Long Way to Tipperary," but they fled in horror when 
Hussey treated them to a little of the music that comes from 
Scotland. The shouts of laughter from the ship added to their 
dismay, and they made off as fast as their short legs would carry 
them. The pack opened slightly at 6.15 p.m., and we proceeded 



IT -"^^^ '^-^^■^w- 




INTO THE WEDDELL SEA 13 

through lanes for three hours before being forced to anchor to a 
floe for the night. We fired a Hjort mark harpoon, No. 171, into 
a blue whale on this day. 

The conditions did not improve during December 19. A fresh 
to strong northerly breeze brought haze and snow, and after 
proceeding for two hours the Endurance was stopped again by 
heavy floes. It was impossible to manoeuvre the ship in the ice 
owing to the strong wind, which kept the floes in movement and 
caused lanes to open and close with dangerous rapidity. The noon 
observation showed that we had made six miles to the south-east in 
the previous twenty-four hours. All hands were engaged during 
the day in rubbing shoots off our potatoes, which were found to be 
sprouting freely. We remained moored to a floe over the follow- 
ing day, the wind not having moderated ; indeed, it freshened to a 
gale in the ■afternoon, and the members of the staff and crew took 
advantage of the pause to enjoy a vigorously contested game of 
football on the level surface of the floe alongside the ship. Twelve 
bergs were in sight at this time. The noon position was lat. 62° 
42' S., long. 17° 54' W., showing that we had drifted about six 
miles in a north-easterly direction. 

Monday, December 21, was beautifully flue, with a gentle west- 
north-westerly breeze. We made a start at 3 a.m. and proceeded 
through the pack in a south-westerly direction. At noon we had 
gained seven miles almost due east, the northerly drift of the pack 
having continued while the ship was apparently moving to the 
south. Petrels of several species, penguins, and seals were plenti- 
ful, and we saw four small blue whales. At noon we entered a 
long lead to the southward and passed around and between nine 
splendid bergs. One mighty specimen was shaped like the Rock 
of Gibraltar but with steeper cliffs, and another had a natural 
dock that would have contained the Aquitania. A spur of ice 
closed the entrance to the huge blue pool. Hurley brought out 
his kinematograph-camera in order to make a record of these 
bergs. Fine long leads running east and south-east among bergs 
were found during the afternoon, but at midnight the ship was 
stopped by small, heavy ice-floes, tightly packed against an un- 



14 CEOSSIITG THE SOUTH POLE 

broken plain of ice. The outlook from the mast-head was not en- 
couraging. The big floe was at least 15 miles long and y) miles 
wide. The edge could not been seen at the widest part, and the 
area of the floe must have been not less than 150 square miles. 
It appeared to be formed of year-old ice, not very thick and with 
very few hummocks or ridges in it. We thought it must have 
been formed at sea in very cahn weather and drifted up from 
the south-east. I had never seen such a large area of unbroken 
ice in the Eoss Sea. 

We waited with banked fires for the strong easterly breeze to 
moderate or the pack to open. At 6.30 p.m. on December 22, 
some lanes opened and we were able to move towards the south 
again. The following morning found us working slowly through 
the pack, and the noon observation gave us a gain of 19 miles 
S. 41° W. for the seventeen and a half hours under steam. Many 
year-old adelies, three crab-eaters, six sea-leopards, one Weddell 
and two blue whales were seen. The air temperature, which had 
been down to 25° Fahr. on December 21, had risen to 34° Eahr. 
While we were working along leads to the southward in the after- 
noon, we counted fifteen bergs. Three of these were table- 
topped, and one was about '70 ft. high and 5 miles long. Evi- 
dently it had come from a barrier-edge. The ice became heavier 
but slightly more open, and we had a calm night with fine long 
leads of open water. The water was so still that new ice was 
forming on the leads. We had a run of 70 miles to our credit at 
noon on December 24, the position being lat. 64° 32' S., long. 17° 
17' W. All the dogs except eight had been named. I do not know 
who had been responsible for some of the names, which seemed to 
represent a variety of tastes. They were as follows: Eugby, 
Upton, Bristol, Millhill, Songster, Sandy, Mack, Mercury, Wolf, 
Amundsen, Hercules, Hackenschmidt, Samson, Sammy, Skipper, 
Caruso, Sub, Ulysses, Spotty, Bosun, Slobbers, Sadie, Sut, Sally, 
Jasper, Tim, Sweep, Martin, Splitlip, Luke, Saint, Satan, Chips, 
Stumps, Snapper, Painful, Bob, Snowball, Jerry, Judge, Sooty, 
Eufus, Sidelights, Simeon, Swanker, Chirgwin, Steamer, Peter, 
Eluffy, Steward, Slippery, Elliott, Eoy, ISToel, Shakespeare, 



INTO THE WEDDELL SEA > 15 

Jamie, Buminer, Smuts, Lupoid, Spider, and Sailor. Some of 
tlie names, it will be noticed, had a descriptive flavour. 

Heavy floes held up the ship from midnight till 6 a.m. on De- 
cember 25, Christmas Day. Then they opened a little and we 
made progress till 11.30 a.m., when the leads closed again. We 
had encountered good leads and workable ice during the early 
part of the night, and the noon observation showed that our run 
for the twenty-four hours was the best since we entered the pack 
a fortnight eai-lier. We had made 71 miles S. 4° W. The ice 
held us up till the evening, and then we were able to follow 
some leads for a couple of hours before the tightly packed floes 
and the increasing wind compelled a stop. The celebration of 
Christmas was not forgotten. Grog was served at midnight to all 
on deck. There was grog again at breakfast, for the benefit of 
those who had been in their bunks at midnight. Lees had dec- 
orated the wardroom with flags and had a little Christmas present 
for each of us. Some of us had presents from home to open. 
Later there was a really splendid dinner, consisting of turtle-soup, 
whitebait, jugged hare, Christmas pudding, mince-pies, dates, 
figs, and crystallized fruits, with rum and stout as drinks. In 
the evening everybody joined in a " sing-song." Hussey had made 
a one-stringed violin, on which, in the words of Worsley, he " dis- 
coursed quite painlessly." The wind was increasing to a mod- 
erate south-easterly gale and no advance could be m'ade, so we 
were able to settle dovm to the enjoyments of the evening. 

The weather was still bad on December 26 and 27, and the 
Endurance remained anchored to a floe. The noon position on 
the 26th was lat. 65° 43' S., long. 17° 36' W. We made another 
sounding on this day with the Lucas machine and found bottom 
at 2819 fathoms. The specimen brought up was a terriginous 
blue mud (glacial deposit) with some radiolaria. Every one 
took turns at the work of heaving in, two men working together 
in ten-minute spells. 

Sunday, December 27, was a quiet day aboard. The southerly 
gale was blowing the snow in clouds off the floe and the tempera- 
ture had fallen to 23° Fahr. The dogs were having an uncom- 



16 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

fortable time in their deck quarters. The wind had moderated 
by the following morning, but it was squally with snow-flurries, 
and I did not order a start till 11 p.m. The pack was still close, 
but the ice was softer and more easily broken. During the pause 
the carpenter had rigged a small stage over the stern. A man 
was stationed there to watch the propeller and prevent it striking 
heavy ice, and the arrangement proved very valuable. It saved 
the rudder as well as the propeller from many blows. 

The high winds that had prevailed for four and a half days 
gave way to a gentle southerly breeze in the evening of December 
29. Owing to the drift we were actually eleven miles further 
north than we had been on December 25. But we made fairly 
good progress on the 30th in fine, clear weather. The ship fol- 
lowed a long lead to the south-east during the afternoon and 
evening, and at 11 p.m. we crossed the Antarctic Circle. An 
examination of the horizon disclosed considerable breaks in the 
vast circle of pack-ice, interspersed with bergs of different sizes. 
Leads could be traced in various directions, but I looked in vain 
for an indication of open water. The sun did not set that night, 
and as it was concealed behind a bank of clouds, we had a glow of 
crimson and gold to the southward, with delicate pale green re- 
flections in the water of the lanes to the south-east. 

The ship had a serious encounter with the ice on the morning 
of December 31. We were stopped first by floes closing around 
us, and then about noon the Endurance got jammed between two 
floes heading east-north-east. The pressure heeled the ship over 
six degrees while we were getting an ice-anchor on to the floe in 
order to heave astern and thus assist the engines, which were run- 
ning at full speed. The effort was successful. Immediately aft- 
erwards, at the spot where the Endurance had been held, slabs of 
ice 50 ft. by 15 ft. and 4 ft. thick were forced ten or twelve feet 
up on the lee floe at an angle of 45 degrees. The pressure was 
severe, and we were not sorry to have the ship out of its reach. 
The noon position was lat. 66° 47' S., long. 15° 52' W., and the 
run for the preceding twenty-four hours was 51 miles S. 29° E. 

" Since noon the character of the pack has improved," wrote 



INTO THE WEDDELL SEA 17 

Worsley on this day. " Though the leads are short, the floes are 
rotten and easily broken through if a good place is selected with 
care and judgment. In many cases we find large sheets of young 
ice through which the ship cuts for a mile or two miles at a 
stretch, I have been conning and working the ship from the 
crow's-nest and find it much the best place, as from there one can 
see ahead and work out the course beforehand, and can also guard 
the rudder and propeller, the most vulnerable parts of a ship in 
the ice. At midnight, as I was sitting in the ' tub,' I heard a 
clamorous noise down on the deck, with ringing of bells, and 
realized that it was the New Year." Worsley came down from 
his lofty seat and met Wild, Hudson, and myself on the bridge, 
where we shook hands and wished one another a happy and suc- 
cessful New Year. Since entering the pack on December 11 we 
had come 480 miles through loose and close pack-ice. We had 
pushed and fought the little ship through, and she had stood the 
test well, though the propeller had received some shrewd blows 
against hard ice and the vessel had been driven against the floe 
until she had fairly mounted up on it and slid back rolling heavily 
from side to side. The rolling had been more frequently caused 
by the operation of cracking through thickish young ice, where 
the crack had taken a sinuous course. The ship, in attempting 
to follow it, struck first one bilge and then the other, causing her 
to roll six or seven degrees. Our advance through the pack had 
been in a S. 10° E. direction, and I estimated that the total 
steaming distance had exceeded 700 miles. The first 100 miles 
had been through loose pack, but the greatest hindrances had been 
three moderate south-westerly gales, two lasting for three days 
each and one for four and a half days. The last 250 miles had 
been through close pack alternating with fine long leads and 
stretches of open water. 

During the weeks we spent manoeuvring to the south through 
the tortuous mazes of the pack it was necessary often to split 
floes by driving the ship against them. This form of attack was 
effective against ice up to three feet in thickness, and the process 
is interesting enough to be worth describing briefly. When the 



18 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

way was barred by a floe of moderate thickness we would drive 
the ship at half speed against it, stopping the engines just before 
the impact. At the first blow the Endurance would cut a 
V-shaped nick in the face of the floe, the slope of her cutwater 
often causing her bows to rise till nearly clear of the water, when 
she would slide backwards, rolling slightly. Watching carefully 
that loose lumps of ice did not damage the propeller, we would 
reverse the engines and back the ship off 200 to 300 yds. She 
would then be driven full speed into the V, taking care to hit the 
centre accurately. The operation would be repeated until a short 
dock was cut, into which the ship, acting as a large wedge, was 
driven. At about the fourth attempt, if it was to succeed at all, 
the floe would yield. A black, sinuous line, as though pen-drawn 
on white paper, would appear ahead, broadening as the eye traced 
it back to the ship. Presently it would be broad enough to receive 
her, and we would forge ahead. Under the bows and alongside, 
great slabs of ice were being turned over and slid back on the 
floe, or driven down and under the ice or ship. In this way the 
Endurance would split a 2-ft. to 3-ft. floe a square mile in extent. 
Occasionally the floe, although cracked across, would be so held by 
other floes that it would refvise to open wide, and so gradually 
would bring the ship to a stand-still. We would then go astern 
for some distance and again drive her full speed into the crack, 
till finally the floe would yield to the repeated onslaughts. 



CHAPTER II 

NEW TJlWO 

The first day of tlie ISTew Tear (January 1, 1915) was cloudy, 
with a gentle northeiJy breeze and occasional snow-squalls. The 
condition of the pack improved in the evening, and after 8 p.m. 
we forged ahead rapidly through brittle young ice, easily broken by 
the ship. A few hours later a moderate gale came up from the 
east, with continuous snow. After 4 a.m. on the 2nd we got into 
thick old pack-ice, showing signs of heavy pressure. It was much 
hummocked, but large areas of open water and long leads to the 
south-west continued until noon. The position then was lat. 69° 
49' S., long. 15° 42' W., and the run for the" twenty-four hours 
had been 124 miles S. 3° W. This was cheering. 

The heavy pack blocked the way south after midday. It would 
have been almost impossible to have pushed the ship into the ice, 
and in any case the gale would have made such a proceeding highly 
dangerous. So we dodged along to the west and north, looking 
for a suitable opening towards the south. The good run had 
given me hope of sighting the land on the following day, and the 
delay was annoying. I was growing anxious to reach land on 
account of the dogs, which had not been able to get exercise for 
four weeks, and were becoming run-down. We passed at least 
two hundred bergs during the day, and we noticed also large masses 
of hummocky bay-ice and ice-foot. One floe of bay-ice had black 
earth upon it, apparently basaltic in origin, and there was a large 
berg with a broad band of yellowish brown right through it. The 
stain may have been volcanic dust. Many of the bergs had quaint 
shapes. There was one that exactly resembled a large two-funnel 
liner, complete in silhouette except for smoke. Later in the day we 
found an opening in the pack and made 9 miles to the south-west, 

19 



20 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

but at 2 a.m. on January 3 the lead ended in hummocky ice, im- 
possible to penetrate. A moderate easterly gale had come up with 
snow-squalls, and we could not get a clear view in any direction. 
The hummocky ice did not offer a suitable anchorage for the ship, 
and we were compelled to dodge up and down for ten hours before 
we were able to make fast to a small floe under the lee of a berg 
120 ft. high. The berg broke the wind and saved us drifting fast 
to leeward. The position was lat. 69° 59' S., long. 17° 31' W. 
We made a move again at 7 p.m., when we took in the ice-anchor 
and proceeded south, and at 10 p.m. we passed a small berg that 
the ship had nearly touched twelve hours previously. Obviously 
we were not making much headway. Several of the bergs passed 
during this day were of solid blue ice, indicating true glacier 
origin. 

By midnight of the 3rd we had made 11 miles to the south, and 
then came to a full stop in weather so thick with snow that we 
could not learn if the leads and lanes were worth entering. The 
ice was hummocky, but fortunately the gale was decreasing, and 
after we had scanned all the leads and pools within our reach we 
turned back to the north-east. Two sperm and two large blue 
whales were sighted, the first we had seen for 260 miles. We saw 
also petrels, nimierous adelies, emperors, crah-eaters, and sea- 
leopards. The clearer weather of the morning showed us that the 
pack was solid and impassable from the south-east to the south-west, 
and at 10 a.m. on the 4th we again passed within five yards of the 
small berg that we had passed twice on the previous day. We had 
been steaming and dodging about over an area of twenty square 
miles for fifty hours, trying to find an opening to the south, south- 
east, or south-west, but all the leads ran north, north-east, or north- 
west. It was as though the spirits of the Antarctic were pointing 
us to the backward track — 'the track we were determined not to 
follow. Our desire was to make easting as well as southing so as 
to reach the land, if possible, east of Ross's furthest South and 
well east of Coats' Land. This was more important as the prevail- 
ing winds appeared to be to easterly, and every mile of easting 
would count. In the afternoon we went west in some open water. 



NEW LAi^D 21 

and by 4 p.m. we were making west-south-west with more water 
opening up ahead. The sun was shining brightly, over three de- 
grees high at midnight, and we were able to maintain this direction 
in fine weather till the following noon. The position then was lat. 
Y0° 28' S., long. 20° 16' W., and the run had been 62 miles S. 
62° W. At 8 a.m. there had been open water from north round 
by west to south-west, but impenetrable pack to the south and east. 
At 3 p.m. the way to the south-west and west-north-west was abso- 
lutely blocked, and as we experienced a set to the west, I did not 
feel justified in burning more of the reduced stock of coal to go 
west or north. I took the ship back over our course for four miles, 
to a point where some looser pack gave faint promise of a way 
through ; but, after battling for three hours with very heavy hum- 
mocked ice and making four miles to the south, we were brought 
up by huge blocks and floes of very old pack. Further effort 
seemed useless at that time, and I gave the order to bank fires after 
we had moored the Endurance to a solid floe. The weather was 
clear, and some enthusiastic football-players had a game on the 
floe until, about midnight, Worsley dropped through a hole in 
rotten ice while retrieving the ball. He had to be retrieved 
himself. 

Solid pack still barred the way to the south on the following 
morning (January 6). There was some open water north of the 
floe, but as the day was calm and I did not wish to use coal in a 
possibly vain search for an opening to the southward, I kept the 
ship moored to the floe. This pause in good weather gave an op- 
portunity to exercise the dogs, which were taken on to the floe by 
the men in charge of them. The excitement of the animals was 
intense. Several managed to get into the water, and the muzzles 
they were wearing did not prevent some hot flghts. Two dogs 
which had contrived to slip their muzzles fought themselves into 
an icy pool and were hauled out still locked in a grapple. How- 
ever, men and dogs enjoyed the exercise. A sounding gave a depth 
of 2400 fathoms, with a blue mud bottom. The wind freshened 
from the west early the next morning, and we started to skirt the 
northern edge of the solid pack in an easterly direction under sail. 



22 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

We had cleared the close pack by noon, but the outlook to the south 
gave small promise of useful progress, and I was anxious now to 
make easting. We went north-east under sail, and after making 
thirty-nine miles passed a peculiar berg that we had been abreast 
of sixty hours earlier. Killer-whales were becoming active around 
us, and I had to exercise caution in allowing anyone to leave the 
ship. These beasts have a habit of locating a resting seal by 
looking over the edge of a floe and then striking through the ice 
from below in search of a meal; they would not distinguish be- 
tween seal and man. 

The noon position on January 8 was lat. 70° 0' S., long. 19° 09' 
W. We had made 66 miles in a north-easterly dj^^ction during 
the preceding twenty-four hours. The course during the after- 
noon was east-south-east through loose pack and open water, with 
deep hummocky floes to the south. Several leads to the south came 
in view, but we held on the easterly course. The floes were becom- 
ing looser, and there were indications of open water ahead. The 
ship passed not fewer than five hundred bergs that day, some of 
them very large. A dark water-sky extended from east to south- 
south-east on th# following morning, and the Endurance^ working 
through loose p*ack at half speed, reached open water just before 
noon. A rampart berg 150 ft. high and a quarter of a mile long 
lay at the edge of the loose pack, and we sailed over a projecting 
foot of this berg into rolling ocean, stretching to the horizon. The 
sea extended from a little to the west of south, round by east to 
north-north-east, and its welcome promise was supported by a 
deep water-sky to the south. I laid a course south by east in an 
endeavour to get south and east of Eoss's furthest south (lat. 71° 
30' S.). 

We kept the open water for a hundred miles, passing many 
bergs but encountering no pack. Two very large whaltes, probably 
blue whales, came up close to the ship, and we saw spouts in all 
directions. Open water inside the pack in that latitude might 
have the appeal of sanctuary to the whales, which are harried by 
man further north. The run southward in blue water, with a 
path clear ahead and the miles falling away behind us, was a joy- 



NEW LAND 23 

ful experience after the long struggle through the ice lanes. But, 
like other good things, our spell of free movement had to end. The 
Endurance encountered the ice again at 1 a.m. on the 10th. Loose 
pack stretched to east and south, with open water to the west and 
a good water-sky. It consisted partly of heavy hummocky ice 
showing evidence of great pressure, but contained also many thick, 
flat floes evidently formed in some sheltered bay and never sub- 
jected to pressure or to much motion. The swirl of the ship's 
wash brought diatomaceous scum from the sides of this ice. The 
water became thick with diatoms at 9 a.m., and I ordered a cast to 
be made. No bottom was found at 210 fathoms. The Endurance 
continued to advance southward through loose pack that morning. 
We saw the spouts of numerous whales and noticed some hundreds 
of crab-eater^ lying on the floes. White-rumped terns, Antarctic 
petrels, and snow petrels were numerous, and there was a colony 
of adelies on a low berg. A few killer-whales, with their character- 
istic high dorsal fin, also came in view. The noon position was 
lat. 72° 02' S., long. 16° 07' W., and the run for the twenty-four 
hours had been 136 miles S. 6° E. 

We were now in the vicinity of the land discovered by Dr. W. 
S. Bruce, leader of the Scotia Expedition, in 1904, and named by 
him Coats' Land. Dr. Bruce encountered an ice-barrier in lat. 
72° 18' S., long. 10° W., stretching from north-east to south-west. 
He followed the barrier-edge to the south-west for 150 miles and 
reached lat. 74° 1' S., long. 22° W. He saw no naked rock, but 
his description of rising slopes of snow and ice, with shoaling water 
off the barrier-wall, indicated clearly the presence of land. It was 
up those slopes, at a point as far south as possible, that I planned 
to begin the march across the Antarctic continent. All hands were 
watching now for the coast described by Dr. Bruce, and at 5 p.m. 
the look-out reported an appearance of land to the south-south- 
east. We could see a gentle snow-slope rising to a height of 
about one thousand feet. It seemed to be an island or a peninsula 
with a soimd on its south side, and the position of its most northerly 
point was about 72° 34' S., 16° 40' W. The Endurance was pass- 
ing through heavy loose pack, and shortly before midnight she 



24 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

broke into a lead of open sea along a barrier-edge. A sounding 
within one cable's length of the barrier-edge gave no bottom with 
210 fathoms of line. The barrier was 70 ft. high, with cliffs of 
about 40 ft. The Scotia must have passed this point when pushing 
to Bruce's farthest south on March 6, 1904, and I knew from the 
narrative of that voyage, as well as from our own observation, that 
the coast trended away to the south-west. The lead of open water 
continued along the barrier-edge, and we pushed forward without 
delay. 

An easterly breeze brought cloud and falls of snow during the 
morning of January 11. The barrier trended south-west by south, 
and we skirted it for fifty miles until 11 a.m. The cliffs in the 
morning were 20 ft. high, and by noon they had increased to 110 
and 115 ft. The brow apparently rose 20 to 30 ft. higher. We 
were forced away from the barrier once for three hours by a line 
of very heavy pack-ice. Otherwise there was open water along the 
edge, with high loose pack to the west and north-west. We noticed 
a seal bobbing up and down in an apparent effort to swallow a long 
silvery fish that projected at least eighteen inches from its mouth. 
The noon position was lat. 73° 13' S., long. 20° 43' W., and a 
sounding then gave 155 fathoms at a distance of a mile from the 
barrier. The bottom consisted of large igneous pebbles. The 
weather then became thick, and I held away to the westward, where 
the sky had given indications of open water, until 1 p.m., when we 
laid the ship alongside a floe in loose pack. Heavy snow was fall- 
ing, and I was anxious lest the westerly wind should bring the 
pack hard against the coast and jam the ship. The Nimrod had a 
narrow escape from a misadventure of this kind in the Eoss Sea 
early in 1908. 

We made a start again at 5 a.m. the next morning (January 
12) in overcast weather with mist and snow showers, and four 
hours later broke through loose pack-ice into open water. The 
view was obscured, but we proceeded to the south-east and had 
gained 24 miles by noon, when three soundings in lat. 74° 4' S., 
long. 22°[48' W. gave 95, 128 and 103 fathoms, with a bottom of 
sand, pefebles, and mud. Clark got a good haul of biological 



NEW LAND 25 

specimens in the dredge. The Endurance was now close to what 
appeared to he the barrier, with a heavy pack-ice foot containing 
numerous bergs frozen in and possibly aground. The solid ice 
turned away towards the north-west, and we followed the edge for 
48 miles 'N. 60° W., to clear it. 

Now we were beyond the point reached by the Scotia, and the 
land underlying the ice-sheet we were skirting was new. The 
northerly trend was unexpected, and I began to suspect that we 
were really rounding a huge ice-tongue attached to the true barrier- 
edge and extending northward. Events confirmed this suspicion. 
We skirted the pack all night, steering north-west ; then went west 
by north till 4 a.m. and round to south-west. The course at 8 a.m. 
on the 13th was south-south-west. The barrier at midnight was 
low and distant, and at 8 a.m. there was merely a narrow ice-foot 
about Wo hundred yards across separating it from the open water. 
By noon there was only an occasional shelf of ice-foot. The 
barrier in one place came with an easy sweep to the sea. We could 
have landed stores there without difficulty. We made a sounding 
400 ft. ofF the barrier but got no bottom at 676 fathoms. At 4 
p.m., still following the barrier to the south-west, we reached a 
comer and found it receding abruptly to the south-east. Our way 
was blocked by very heavy pack, and after spending two hours in 
a vain search for an opening, we moored the Endurance to a floe 
and banked fires. During that day we passed two schools of seals, 
swimming fast to the north-west and north-north-east. The 
animals swam in close order, rising and blowing like porpoises, and 
we wondered if there was any significance in their journey north- 
ward at that time of the year. Several young emperor penguins 
bad been captured and brought aboard on the previous day. Two 
of them were still alive when the Endurance was brought alongside 
the floe. They promptly hopped on to the ice, turned round, 
bowed gracefully three times, and retired to the far side of the 
floe. There is something curiously human about the manners and 
movements of these birds. I was concerned about the dogs. They 
were losing condition and some of them appeared to be ailing. 
One dog had to be shot on the 12th. 



26 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

We did not move the ship on the 14th. A breeze came from 
the east in the evening, and under its influence the pack began to 
work off shore. Before midnight the close ice that had barred our 
way had opened and left a lane along the foot of the barrier. I 
decided to wait for the morning, not wishing to risk getting caught 
between the barrier and the pack in the event of the wind changing. 
A sounding gave 1357 fathoms, with a bottom of glacial mud. 
The noon observation showed the position to be lat. 74° 09' S., 
long. 27° 16' W. We cast off at 6 a.m. on the 15th in hazy weather 
with a north-easterly breeze, and proceeded along the barrier in 
open water. The course was south-east for sixteen miles, then 
south-south-east. We now had solid pack to windward, and at 3 
p.m. we passed a bight probably ten miles deep and running to the 
north-east. A similar bight appeared at 6 p.m. These deep cuts 
strengthened the impression we had already formed that for several 
days we had been rounding a great mass of ice, at least fifty miles 
across, stretching out from the coast and possibly destined to float 
away at some time in the future. The soundings — roughly, 200 
fathoms at the landward side and 1300 fathoms a* the seaward 
side — suggested that this mighty projection was afloat. Seals 
were plentiful. We saw large numbers on the pack and several 
on low parts of the barrier, where the slope was easy. The ship 
passed through large schools of seals swimming from the barrier 
to the pack off shore. The animals were splashing and blowing 
around the Endurance, and Hurley made a record of this unusual 
sight with the kinematograph-camera. 

The barrier now stretched to the south-west again. Sail was 
set to a fresh easterly breeze, but at 7 p.m. it had to be furled, the 
Endurance being held up by pack-ice against the barrier for an 
hour. We took advantage of the pause to sound and got 268 
fathoms with glacial mud and pebbles. Then a small lane ap- 
peared ahead. We pushed through at full speed, and by 8.30 p.m. 
the Endurance was moving southward with sails set in a fine ex- 
panse of open water. We continued to skirt the barrier in clear 
weather. I was watching for possible landing-places, though as 
a matter of fact I had no intention of landing north of Vahsel Bay, 



NEW LAI^D 2Y 

in Luitpold Land, except under pressure of necessity. Every mile 
gained towards the south meant a mile less sledging when the time 
came for the overland journey. 

Shortly before midnight on the 15th we came abreast of the 
northern edge of a great glacier or overflow from the inland ice, 
projecting beyond the barrier into the sea. It was 400 or 500 ft. 
high, and at its edge was a large mass of thick bay-ice. The bay 
formed by the northern edge of this glacier would have made an 
excellent landing-place. A flat ice-foot nearly three feet above 
sea-level looked like a natural quay. From this ice-foot a snow- 
slope rose to the top of the barrier. The bay was protected from 
the south-easterly wind and was open only to the northerly wind, 
which is rare in those latitudes. A sounding gave 80 fathoms, 
indicating that the glacier was aground. I named the place 
Glacier Bay, and had reason later to remember it with regret. 

The Endurance steamed along the front of this ice-flow for 
about seventeen miles. The glacier showed huge crevasses and 
high pressure ridges, and appeared to run back to ice-covered slopes 
or hills 1000 or 2000 ft. high. Some bays in its front were filled 
with smooth ice, dotted with seals and penguins. At 4 a.m. on 
the 16th we reached the edge of another huge glacial overflow from 
the ice-sheet. The ice appeared to be coming over low hills and 
was heavily broken. The clifF-face was 250 to 350 ft. high, and 
the ice surface two miles inland was probably 2000 ft. high. The 
cliff-front showed a tide-mark of about 6 ft., proving that it was 
not afloat. We steamed along the front of this tremendous glacier 
for 40 miles and then, at 8.30 a.m., we were held up by solid pack- 
ice, which appeared to be held by stranded bergs. The depth, two 
cables off the barrier-cliff, was 134 fathoms. ISTo further advance 
was possible that day, but the noon observation, which gave the 
position as lat. 16° 27' S., long. 28° 51' W., showed that we had 
gained 124 miles to the south-west during the preceding twenty- 
four hours. The afternoon was not without incident. The bergs 
in the neighbourhood were very large, several being over 200 ft. 
high, and some of them were firmly aground, showing tide-marks. 
A barrier-berg bearing north-west appeared to be about 25 miles 



28 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

long. We pushed the ship against a small banded berg, from 
which Wordie secured several large lumps of biotite granite. 
While the Endurance was being held slow ahead against the berg 
a loud crack was heard, and the geologist had to scramble aboard 
at once. The bands on this berg were particularly well defined; 
they were due to morainic action in the parent glacier. Later in 
the day the easterly wind increased to a gale. Fragments of floe 
drifted past at about two knots, and the pack to leeward began to 
break up fast. A low berg of shallow draft drove down into the 
grinding pack and, smashing against two larger stranded bergs, 
pushed them off the bank. The three went away together pell- 
mell. We took shelter under the lee of a large stranded berg. 

A blizzard from the east-north-east prevented us leaving the 
shelter of the berg on the following day (Sunday, January IT). 
The weather was clear, but the gale drove dense clouds of snow off 
the land and obscured the coast-line most of the time. " The land, 
seen when the air is clear, appears higher than we thought it yes- 
terday; probably it rises to 3000 ft. above the head of the glacier. 
Caird Coast, as I have named it, connects Coats' Land, discovered 
by Bruce in 1904, with Luitpold Land, discovered by Filchner in 
1912. The northern part is similar in character to Coats' Land. 
It is fronted by an undulating barrier, the van of a mighty ice- 
sheet that is being forced outward from the high interior of the 
Antarctic Continent and apparently is sweeping over low hills, 
plains, and shallow seas as the great Arctic ice-sheet once pressed 
over northern Europe. The barrier surface, seen from the sea, ia 
of a faint golden-brown colour. It terminates usually in cliffs 
ranging from 10 to 300 ft. in height, but in a very few places 
sweeps down level with the sea. The cliffs are of dazzling white- 
ness, with wonderful blue shadows. Ear inland higher slopes can 
be seen, appearing like dim blue or faint golden fleecy clouds. 
These distant slopes have increased in nearness and clearness as we 
have come to the south-west, while the barrier cliffs here are higher 
and apparently firmer. We are now close to the junction with 
Luitpold Land. At this southern end of the Caird Coast the ice- 
sheet, undulating over the hidden and imprisoned land, is bursting 



NEW LAND 29 

down a steep slope in tremendous glaciers, bristling with ridges 
and spikes of ice and seamed by thousands of crevasses. Along the 
whole length of the coast we have seen no bare land or rock. Not 
as much as a solitary nunatak has appeared to relieve the surface 
of ice and snow. But the upward sweep of the ice slopes towards 
the horizon and the ridges, terraces, and crevasses that appear as 
the ice approaches the sea tell of the hills and valleys that lie 
below." 

The Endurance lay under the lee of the stranded berg until 7 a.m. 
on January 18. The gale had moderated by that time, and we 
proceeded under sail to the south-west through a lane that had 
opened along the glacier-front. We skirted the glacier till 9.30 
a.m., when it ended in two bays, open to the north-west but 
sheltered by stranded bergs to the west. The coast beyond trended 
south-south-west with a gentle land-slope. " The pack now forces 
us to go west 14 miles, when we break through a long line of heavy 
brash mixed with large lumps and ' growlers.' We do this under 
the fore-topsail only, the engines being stopped to protect the pro- 
peller. This takes us into open water, where we make S. 50° W. 
for 24 miles. Then we again encounter pack which forces us to 
the north-west for 10 miles, when we are brought up by heavy 
snow-lumps, brash, and large, loose floes. The character of the 
pack shows change. The floes are very thick and are covered by 
deep snow. The brash between the floes is so thick and heavy that 
we cannot push through without a great expenditure of power, and 
then for a short distance only. We therefore lie to for a while to 
see if the pack opens at all when this north-east wind ceases." 

Our position on the morning of the 19th was lat. 76° 34' S., 
long. 31° 30' W. The weather was good, but no advance could 
be made. The ice had closed around the ship during the night, 
and no water could be seen in any direction from the deck. A 
few lanes were in sight from the mast-head. We sounded in 312 
fathoms, finding mud, sand, and pebbles. The land showed 
faintly to the east. We waited for the conditions to improve, and 
the scientists took the opportunity to dredge for biological and 
geological specimens. During the night a moderate north-easterly 



30 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

gale sprang up, and a survey of the position on the 20th showed 
that the ship was firmly beset. The ice was packed heavily and 
firmly all round the Endurance in every direction as far as the eye 
could reach from the mast-head. There was nothing to be done 
till the conditions changed, and we waited through that day and 
the succeeding days with increasing anxiety. The east-north- 
easterly gale that had forced us to take shelter behind the stranded 
berg on the 16th had veered later to the north-east, and it con- 
tinued with varying intensity until the 22nd. Apparently this 
wind had crowded the ice into the bight of the Weddell Sea, and 
the ship was now drifting south-west with the floes which had en- 
closed it. A slight movement of the ice round the ship caused the 
rudder to become dangerously jammed on the 21st, and we had 
to cut away the ice with ice-chisels, heavy pieces of iron with 6-ft. 
wooden hafts. We kept steam up in readiness for a move if the 
opportunity offered, and the engines running full speed ahead 
helped to clear the rudder. Land was in sight to the east and 
south about sixteen miles distant on the 22nd. The land-ice 
seemed to be faced with ice-cliffs at most points, but here and there 
slopes ran down to sea-level. Large crevassed areas in terraces 
parallel with the coast showed where the ice was moving down over 
foot-hills. The inland ice appeared for the most part to be un- 
dulating, smooth and easy to march over, but many crevasses might 
have been concealed from us by the surface snow or by the absence 
of shadows. I thought that the land probably rose to a height of 
5000 ft. forty or fifty miles inland. The accurate estimation of 
, heights and distances in the Antarctic is always diificult, owing to 
the clear air, the confusing monotony of colouring, and the de- 
ceptive effect of mirage and refraction. The land appeared to 
increase in height to the southward, where we saw a line of land 
or barrier that must have been seventy miles, and possibly was even 
more distant. 

Sunday, January 24, was a clear, sunny day, with gentle easterly 
and southerly breezes. No open water could be seen from the 
mast-head, but there was a slight water-sky to the west and north- 
west. " This is the first time for ten days that the wind has varied 



NEW LAND 31 

from north-east and east, and on five of these days it has risen to 
a gale. Evidently the ice has hecome firmly packed in this 
quarter, and vs^e must v?ait patiently till a southerly gale occurs or 
currents open the ice. We are drifting slowly. The position to- 
day was 76° 49' S., 33° 51' W. Worsley and James, working on 
the floe with a Kew magnetometer, found the variation to be six 
degrees west." Just before midnight a crack developed in the ice 
five yards wide and a mile long, fifty yards ahead of the ship. The 
crack had widened to a quarter of a mile by 10 a.m. on the 25th, 
and for three hours we tried to force the ship into this opening with 
engines at full speed ahead and all sails set. The sole effect was 
to wash some ice away astern and clear the rudder, and after con- 
vincing myself that the ship was firmly held I abandoned the at- 
tempt. Later in the day Crean and two other men were over the 
side on a stage chipping at a large piece of ice that had got under 
the ship and appeared to be impeding her movement. The ice 
broke away suddenly, shot upward and overturned, pinning Crean 
between the stage and the haft of the heavy 11-ft. iron pincher. He 
was in danger for a few moments, but we got him clear, suffering 
merely from a few bad bruises. The thick iron bar had been bent 
against him to an angle of 45 degrees. 

The days that followed were uneventful. Moderate breezes 
from the east and south-west had no apparent effect upon the ice, 
and the ship remained firmly held. On the 27th, the tenth day 
of inactivity, I decided to let the fires out. We had been burning 
half a ton of coal a day to keep steam in the boilers, and as the 
bunkers now contained only 67 tons, representing thirty-three 
days' steaming, we could not afford to continue this expenditure of 
fuel. Land still showed to the east and south when the horizon was 
clear. The biologist was securing some interesting specimens 
with the hand-dredge at various depths. A sounding on the 26th 
gave 360 fathoms, and another on the 29th 449 fathoms. The 
drift was to the west, and an observation on the 31st (Sunday) 
showed that the ship had made eight miles during the week. 
James and Hudson rigged the wireless in the hope of hearing the 
monthly message from the Falkland Islands. This message would 



32 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

be due about 3.20 a.m. on the following morning, but James was 
doubtful about hearing anything with our small apparatus at a 
distance of 1630 miles from the dispatching station. We heard 
nothing, as a matter of fact, and later efforts were similarly un- 
successful. The conditions would have been diflScult even for a 
station of high power. 

We were accumulating gradually a stock of seal-meat during 
these days of waiting. Eresh meat for the dogs was needed, and 
seal-steaks and liver made a very welcome change from the ship's 
rations aboard the Endurance. Eour crab-eaters and three Wed- 
dells, over a ton of meat for dog and man, fell to our guns on 
February 2, and all hands were occupied most of the day getting 
the carcases back to the ship over the rough ice. We rigged three 
sledges for man-haulage and brought the seals about two miles, the 
sledging parties being guided among the ridges and pools by sema- 
phore from the crow's-nest. Two more seals were sighted on the 
far side of a big pool, but I did not allow them to be pursued. 
Some of the ice was in a treacherous condition, with thin fibns 
hiding cracks and pools, and I did not wish to risk an accident. 

A crack about four miles long opened in the floe to the stern of 
the ship on the 3rd. The narrow lane in front was still open, but 
the prevailing light breezes did not seem likely to produce any use- 
ful movement in the ice. Early on the morning of the 5th a north- 
easterly gale sprang up, bringing overcast skies and thick snow. 
Soon the pack was opening and closing without much loosening 
effect. At noon the ship gave a sudden start and heeled over three 
degrees. Immediately afterwards a crack ran from the bows to the 
lead ahead and another to the lead astern. I thought it might be 
possible to reeve the ship through one of these leads towards 
open water, but we could see no water through the thick snow, and 
before steam was raised and while the view was still obscured the 
pack closed again. The northerly gale had given place to light 
westerly breezes on the 6th. The pack seemed to be more solid 
than ever. It stretched almost unbroken to the horizon in every 
direction, and the situation was made worse by very low tempera- 
tures in succeeding days. The temperature was down to zero on 



NEW LAI^D 33 

the night of the 7th and was two degrees below zero on the 8th. 
This cold spell in midsummer was most unfortunate from our 
point of view, since it cemented the pack and tightened the grip 
of the ice upon the ship. The slow drift to the south-west con- 
tinued, and we caught occasional glimpses of distant uplands on 
the eastern horizon. The position on the 7th was lat. 76° 57' S., 
long. 35° 7' W. Soundings on the 6th and 8th found glacial mud 
at 530 and 529 fathoms. 

The Endurance was lying in a pool covered by young ice on 
the 9th. The solid floes had loosened their grip on the ship itself, 
but they were packed tightly all around. The weather was foggy. 
We felt a slight northerly swell coming through the pack, and the 
movement gave rise to hope that there was open water near to us. 
At 11 a.m. a long crack developed in the pack, running east and 
west as far as we could see through the fog, and I ordered steam 
to be raised in the hope of being able to break a way into this lead. 
The effort failed. We could break the young ice in the pool, but 
the pack defied us. The attempt was renewed on the 11th, a fine, 
clear day with blue sky. The temperature was still low, — 2° Fahr. 
at midnight. After breaking through some young ice the Erv- 
durance became jammed against soft floe. The engines running 
full speed astern produced no effect until all hands joined in 
" sallying " ship. The dog-kennels amidships made it necessary 
for the people to gather aft, where they rushed from side to side 
in a mass in the confined space around the wheel. This was a 
ludicrous affair, the men falling over one another amid shouts of 
laughter without producing much effect on the ship. She re- 
mained fast, while all hands jumped at the word of command, but 
finally slid off when the men were stamping hard at the double. 
We were now in a position to take advantage of any opening that 
might appear. The ice was firm around us, and as there seemed 
small chance of making a move that day, I had the motor crawler 
and warper put out on the floe for a trial run. The motor worked 
most successfully, running at about six miles an hour over slabs 
and ridges of ice hidden by a foot or two of soft snow. The sur- 
face was worse than we would expect to face on land or barrier-ice. 



34 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

The motor warped itself back on a 500-fathom steel wire and was 
taken aboard again. " From the mast-head the mirage is contin- 
ually giving us false alarms. Everything wears an aspect of un- 
reality. Icebergs hang upside down in the sky ; the land appears 
as layers of silvery or golden cloud. Cloud-banks look like laud, 
icebergs masquerade as islands or nunataks, and the distant barrier 
to the south is thrown into view, although it really is outside our 
range of vision. Worst of all is the deceptive appearance of open 
water, caused by the refraction of distant water, or by the sun 
shining at an angle on a field of smooth snow or the face of ice- 
cliffs below the horizon." 

The second half of February produced no important change in 
our situation. Early in the morning of the 14th I ordered a good 
head of steam on the engines and sent all hands on to the floe with 
ice-chisels, prickers, saws, and picks. We worked all day and 
throughout most of the next day in a strenuous effort to get the ship 
into the lead ahead. The men cut away the young ice before 
the bows and pulled it aside with great energy. After twenty-four 
hours' labour we had got the ship a third of the way to the lead. 
But about 400 yards of heavy ice, including old rafted pack, still 
separated the Endurance from the water, and reluctantly I had 
to admit that further effort was useless. Every opening we made 
froze up again quickly owing to the unseasonably low temperature. 
The young ice was elastic and prevented the ship delivering a 
strong, splitting blow to the floe, while at the same time it held the 
older ice against any movement The abandonment of the attack 
was a great disappointment to all hands. The men had worked 
long hours without thought of rest, and they deserved success. 
But the task was beyond our powers. I had not abandoned hope 
of getting clear, but was counting now on the possibility of having 
to spend a winter in the inhospitable arms of the pack. The sun, 
which had been above the horizon for two months, set at midnight 
on the 17th, and, although it would not disappear for the winter 
until April, its slanting rays warned us of the approach of winter. 
Pools and leads appeared occasionally, but they froze over very 
quickly. 



NEW LAifD 35 

We continued to accumulate a supply of seal-meat and blubber, 
and the excursions across the floes to shoot and bring in the seals 
provided welcome exercise for all hands. Three crab-eater cows 
shot on the 21st were not accompanied by a bull, and blood was to 
be seen about the hole from which they had crawled. We sur- 
mised that the bull had become the prey of one of the killer-whales. 
These aggressive creatures were to be seen often in the lanes and 
pools, and we were always distrustful of their ability or willingness 
to discriminate between seal and man. A lizard-like head would 
show while the killer gazed along the floe with wicked eyes. Then 
the brute would dive, to come up a few moments later, perhaps, 
under some unfortunate seal reposing on the ice. Worsley ex- 
amined a spot where a killer had smashed a hole 8 ft. by 12 ft. 
in 1-2% in. of hard ice, covered by 2% in. of snow. Big blocks 
of ice had been tossed on to the floe surface. Wordie, engaged in 
measuring the thickness of young ice, went through to his waist 
one day just as a killer rose to blow in the adjacent lead. His com- 
panions pulled him out hurriedly. 

On the 22nd the Endurance reached the farthest south point of 
her drift, touching the 77th parallel of latitude in long. 35° W. 
The summer had gone ; indeed the summer had scarcely been with 
us at all. The temperatures were low day and night, and the pack 
was freezing solidly around the ship. The thermometer recorded 
10° below zero Eahr. at 2 a.m. on the 22nd. Some hours earlier 
we had watched a wonderful golden mist to the southward, where 
the rays of the declining sun shone through vapour rising from the 
ice. All normal standards of perspective vanish under such con- 
ditions, and the low ridges of the pack, with mist lying between 
them, gave the illusion of a wilderness of mountain-peaks like the 
Bernese Oberland. I could not doubt now that the Endurance 
was confined for the winter. Gentle breezes from the east, south, 
and south-west did not disturb the hardening floes. The seals 
were disappearing and the birds were leaving us. The land 
showed still in fair weather on the distant horizon, but it was be- 
yond our reach now, and regrets for havens that lay behind us were 
vain. " We must wait for the spring, which may bring us better 



36 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

fortune. If I had guessed a montli ago that the ice would grip us 
here, I would have established our base at one of the landing- 
places at the great glacier. But there seemed no reason to antici- 
pate then that the fates would prove unkind. This calm weather 
with intense cold in a summer month is surely exceptional. My 
chief anxiety is the drift. Where will the vagrant winds and cur- 
rents carry the ship during the long winter months that are ahead 
of us ? We will go west, no doubt, but how far ? And will it be 
possible to break out of the pack early in the spring and reach 
Vahsel Bay or some other suitable landing-place? These are 
momentous questions for us." 

On February 24 we ceased to observe ship routine, and the 
Endurance became a winter station. All hands were on duty 
during the day and slept at night, except a watchman who looked 
after the dogs and watched for any sign of movement in the ice. 
We cleared a space of 10 ft. by 20 ft. round the rudder and pro- 
peller, sawing through ice 2 ft. thick, and lifting the blocks with a 
pair of tongs made by the carpenter. Crean used the blocks to 
make an ice-house for the dog Sally, which had added a little litter 
of pups to the strength of the expedition. Seals appeared occasion- 
ally, and we killed all that came within our reach. They repre- 
sented fuel as well as food for men and dogs. Orders were given 
for the after-hold to be cleared and the stores checked, so that we 
might know exactly how we stood for a siege by an Antarctic 
winter. The dogs went off the ship on the following day. Their 
kennels were placed on the floe along the length of a wire rope to 
which the leashes were fastened. The dogs seemed heartily glad 
to leave the ship, and yelped loudly and joyously as they were 
moved to their new quarters. We had begun the training of teams, 
and already there was keen rivalry between the drivers. The flat 
floes and frozen leads in the neighbourhood of the ship made ex- 
cellent training grounds. Hockey and football on the floe were 
our chief recreations, and all hands joined in many a strenuous 
game. 

Worsley took a party to the floe on the 26th and started building 
a line of igloos and " dogloos " round the ship. These little build- 



NEW LAND 37 

ings were constructed, Esquimaux fashion, of big blocks of ice, 
with thin sheets for the roofs. Boards or frozen seal-skins were 
placed over all, snow was piled on top and pressed into the joints, 
and then water was thrown over the structures to make everything 
firm. The ice was packed down flat inside and covered with snow 
for the dogs, which preferred, however, to sleep outside except when 
the weather was extraordinarily severe. The tethering of the dogs 
was a simple matter. The end of a chain was buried about eight 
inches in the snow, some fragments of ice were pressed around it, 
and a little water poured over all. The icy breath of the Antarctic 
cemented it in a few moments. Four dogs which had been ailing 
were shot. Some of the dogs were suffering badly from worms, 
and the remedies at our disposal, unfortunately, were not effective. 
All the fit dogs were being exercised in the sledges, and they took 
to the work with enthusiasm. Sometimes their eagerness to be off 
and away produced laughable results, but the drivers learned to be 
alert. The wireless apparatus was still rigged, but we listened in 
vain for the Saturday-night time signals from !tTew Year Island, 
ordered for our benefit by the Argentine Government. On Sun- 
day the 28th, Hudson waited at 2 a.m. for the Port Stanley 
monthly signals, but could hear nothing. Evidently the distances 
were too great for our small plant. 



CHAPTER III 



WUTTEK MONTHS 



The month of March opened -with a severe north-easterly gale. 
Five Weddells and two crab-eaters were shot on the floe during 
the morning of March 1, and the wind, with fine drifting snow, 
sprang up while the carcases were being brought in by sledging 
parties. The men were compelled to abandon some of the blubber 
and meat, and they had a struggle to get back to the ship over the 
rough ice in the teeth of the storm. This gale continued until 
the 3rd, and all hands were employed clearing out the 'tween decks, 
which was to be converted into a living- and dining-room for officers 
and scientists. The carpenter erected in this room the stove that 
had been intended for use in the shore hut, and the quarters were 
made very snug. The dogs appeared indifferent to the blizzard. 
They emerged occasionally from the drift to shake themselves and 
bark, but were content most of the time to lie, curled into tight 
balls, under the snow. One of the old dogs. Saint, died on the 
night of the 2nd, and the doctors reported that the cause of death 
was appendicitis. 

When the gale cleared we found that the pack had been driven 
in from the north-east and was now more firmly consolidated than 
before. A new berg, probably fifteen miles in length, had ap- 
peared on the northern horizon. The bergs within our circle of 
vision had all become familiar objects, and we had names for 
some of them. Apparently they were all drifting with the pack. 
The sighting of a new berg was of more than passing interest, 
since in that comparatively shallow sea it would be possible for a 
big berg to become stranded. Then the island of ice would be a 
centre of tremendous pressure and disturbance amid the drifting 

pack. We had seen something already of the smashing effect of 

38 



WINTEE MONTHS 39 

a contest between berg and floe, and bad no wisb to bave tbe belp- 
less Endurance involved in sucb a battle of giants. During tbe 
3rd tbe seal-meat and blubber was re-stowed on bummocks around 
tbe sbip. Tbe frozen masses bad been sinking into tbe floe. Ice, 
tbougb bard and solid to tbe toucb, is never firm against beavy 
weigbts. An article left on tbe floe for any lengtb of time is likely 
to sink into tbe surface-ice. Tben tbe salt water will percolate 
tbrougb and tbe article will become frozen into tbe body of tbe floe. 
Clear weatber followed tbe gale, and we bad a series of mock 
suns and parbelia. Minus temperatures were tbe rule, 21° below 
zero Fabr. being recorded on tbe 6tb. We made m-attresses for tbe 
dogs by stuffing sacks witb straw and rubbisb, and most of tbe ani- 
mals were glad to receive tbis furnisbing in tbeir kennels. Some 
of tbem bad suffered tbrougb tbe snow melting witb tbe beat of 
tbeir bodies and tben freezing solid. Tbe scientific members of tbe 
expedition were all busy by tbis time. Tbe meteorologist bad got 
bis recording station, containing anemometer, barograpb, and tber- 
mograpb, rigged over tbe stern. Tbe geologist was making tbe 
best of wbat to bim was an unbappy situation, but was not alto- 
getber witbout material. Tbe pebbles found in tbe penguins were 
often of considerable interest, and some fragments of rock were 
brougbt up from tbe sea floor witb tbe sounding-lead and tbe drag- 
net. On tbe 7tb Wordie and Worsley found some small pebbles, 
a piece of moss, a perfect bivalve sbell, and some dust on a berg 
fragment, and brougbt tbeir treasure-trove proudly to tbe sbip. 
Clark was using tbe drag-net frequently in tbe leads and secured 
good bauls of plankton, witb occasional specimens of greater scien- 
tific interest. Seals were not plentiful, but our store of meat and 
blubber grew gradually. All bands ate seal-meat witb relisb and 
would not bave cared to become dependent on tbe sbip's tinned 
meat. "We preferred tbe crab-eater to tbe Weddell, wbicb is a very 
sluggisb beast. Tbe crab-eater seemed cleaner and bealtbier. 
Tbe killer-wbales were still witb us. On tbe 8tb we examined a 
spot wbere tbe floe-ice bad been smasbed up by a blow from be- 
neatb, delivered presumably by a large wbale in searcb of a breatb- 
ing-place. Tbe force tbat bad been exercised was astonisbing. 



40 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Slabs of ice 3 ft. thick, and weighing tons, had been tented upwards 
over a circular area with a diameter of about 25 ft., and cracks 
radiated outwards for more than 20 ft. 

The quarters in the 'tween decks were completed by the 10th, 
and the men took possession of the cubicles that had been built. 
The largest cubicle contained Maeklin, Mellroy, Hurley, and 
Hussey and it was named " The Billabong." Clark and Wordie 
lived opposite in a room called " Auld Eeekie." Next came the 
abode of " The Nuts " or engineers, followed by " The Sailors' 
Rest," inhabited by Cheethamand McNeish. " The Anchorage " 
and " The Eumarole " were on the other side. The new quarters 
became known as " The Ritz," and meals were served there instead 
of in the wardroom. Breakfast was at 9 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m., 
tea at 4 p.m., and dinner at 6 p.m. Wild, Marston, Crean, and 
Worsley established themselves in cubicles in the wardroom, and 
by the middle of the month all hands had settled down to the winter 
routine. I lived alone aft. 

Worsley, Hurley, and Wordie made a journey to a big berg, 
called by us the Rampart Berg, on the 11th. The distance out 
was 7% miles, and the party covered a total distance of about 17 
miles. Hurley took some photographs and Wordie came back ire- 
joicing with a little dust and some moss. " Within a radiug of 
one mile round the berg there is thin young ice, strong enough to 
march over with care," wrote Worsley. " The area of dangerous 
pressure, as regards a ship, does not seem to extend for more than 
a quarter of a mile from the berg. Here there are cracks and con- 
stant slight movement, which becomes exciting to the traveller 
when he feels a piece of ice gradually up-ending beneath his feet. 
Close to the berg the pressure, makes all sorts of quaint noises. We 
heard tapping as from a hammer, grunts, groans and squeaks, 
electric trams running, birds singing, kettles boiling noisily, and 
an occasional swish as a large piece of ice, released from pressure, 
suddenly jumped or turned over. We noticed all sorts of quaint 
effects, such as huge bubbles or domes of ice, 40 ft. across and 4 or 
5 ft. high. Large sinuous pancake-sheets were spread over the floe 
in places, and in one spot we counted five such sheets, each about 



WINTEK MONTHS , 41 

2% inclies thick, imbricated under one another. They look as 
though made of barley-sugar and are very slippery." The noon 
position on the 14th was lat. 76° 54' S., long. 36° 10' W. The 
land was visible faintly to the south-east, distant about 36 miles. 
A few small leads could be seen from the ship, but the ice was firm 
in our neighbourhood. The drift of the Endurance was still to- 
wards the north-west. 

I had the boilers blown down on the 15th, and the consumption 
of 2 cwt. of coal per day to keep the boilers from freezing then 
ceased. The bunkers still contained 52 tons of coal, and the daily 
consumption in the stoves was about 21/^ cwt. There would not 
be much coal left for steaming purposes in the spring, but I antici- 
pated eking out the supply with blubber. 

A moderate gale from the north-east on the ITth brought' fine, 
penetrating snow. The weather cleared in the evening, and a 
beautiful crimson sunset held our eyes. At the same time the 
ice-cliffs of the land were thrown up in the sky by mirage, with an 
apparent reflection in open water, though the land itself could not 
be seen definitely. The effect was repeated in an exaggerated form 
on the following day, when the ice-cliffs were thrown up above the 
horizon in double and treble parallel lines, some inverted. The 
mirage was due probably to lanes of open water near the land. 
The water would be about 30° warmer than the air and would 
cause warmed strata to ascend. A sounding gave 606 fathoms, 
with a bottom of glacial mud. Six days later, on the 24th, the 
depth was 419 fathoms. We were drifting steadily, and the con- 
stant movement, coupled with the appearance of lanes near the. 
land, convinced me that we must stay by the ship till she got clear. 
I had considered the possibility of making a landing across the ice. 
in the spring, but the hazards of such an undertaking would be too 
great. 

The training of the dogs in sledge teams was making progress. 
The orders used by the drivers were "Mush" (Go on), "Gee" 
(Eight), " Haw " (Left), and " Whoa " (Stop). These are the 
words that the Canadian drivers long ago adopted, borrowing them 
originally from England. There were many fights at first, until 



42 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

the dogs learned their positions and their duties, but as days passed 
drivers and teams became efficient. Each team had its leader, and 
efficiency depended largely on the willingness and ability of this 
dog to punish skulking and disobedience. We learned not to in- 
terfere unless the disciplinary measures threatened to have a fatal 
termination. The drivers could sit on the sledge and jog along at 
ease if they chose. But the prevailing minus temperatures made 
riding unpopular, and the men preferred usually to run or walk 
alongside the teams. We were still losing dogs through sickness, 
due to stomach and intestinal worms. 

Dredging for specimens at various depths was one of the duties 
during these days. The dredge and several hundred fathoms of 
wire line made a heavy load, far beyond the unaided strength of the 
scientists. On the 23rd, for example, we put down a 2-ft. dredge 
and 650 fathoms of wire. The dredge was hove in four hours 
later and brought much glacial mud, several pebbles and rock frag- 
ments, three sponges, some worms, irachiapods, and foraminifera. 
The mud was troublesome. It was heavy to lift, and as it froze 
rapidly when brought to the surface, the recovery of the specimens 
embedded in it was difficult. A haul made on the 26th brought 
a prize for the geologist in the form of a lump of sandstone weigh- 
ing Y5 lbs., a piece of fossiliferous limestone, a fragment of striated 
shale, sandstone-grit, and some pebbles. Hauling in the dredge 
by hand was severe work, and on the 24th we used the Girling 
tractor-motor, which brought in 500 fathoms of line in thirty 
minutes, including stops. One stop was due to water having run 
over the friction gear and frozen. It was a day or two later that 
we heard a great yell from the floe and found Clark dancing about 
and shouting Scottish war-cries. He had secured his first com- 
plete specimen of an Antarctic fish, apparently a new species. 

Mirages were frequent. Barrier-cliffs appeared all around us 
on the 29th, even in places where we knew there was deep water. 
" Bergs and pack are thrown up in the sky and distorted into the 
most fantastic shapes. They climb trembling upwards, spreading 
out into long lines at different levels, then contract and fall down, 
leaving nothing but an uncertain, wavering smudge which comes 



, WINTEE MONTHS 43 

and goes. Presently the smudge swells and grows, taking shape 
until it presents the perfect inverted reflection of a berg on the 
horizon, the shadow hovering over the substance. More smudges 
appear at different points on the horizon. These spread out into 
long lines till they meet, and we are girdled by lines of shining 
snow-cliffs, laved at their bases by waters of illusion in which they 
appear to be faithfully reflected. So the shadows come and go 
silently, melting away finally as the sun declines to the west. We 
seem to be drifting helplessly in a strange world of unreality. It 
is reassuring to feel the ship beneath one's feet and to look 
down at the familiar line of kennels and igloos on the solid floe." 
The floe was not so solid as it appeared. We had reminders oc- 
casionally that the greedy sea was very close, and that the floe was 
but a treacherous friend, which might open suddenly beneath us. 
Towards the end of the month I had our store of seal-meat and blub- 
ber brought abroad. The depth as recorded by a sounding on the 
last day of March was 256 fathoms. The continuous shoaling 
from 606 fathoms in a drift of 39 miles IST. 26° W., in thirty days 
was interesting. The sea shoaled as we went north, either to east 
or to west, and the fact suggested that the contour-lines ran east and 
west, roughly. Our total drift between January 19, when the 
ship was frozen in, and March 31, a period of seventy-one days, 
had been 95 miles in a IST. 80° W. direction. The icebergs around 
us had not changed their relative positions. 

The sun sank lower in the sky, the temperatures became lower, 
and the Endurance felt the grip of the icy hand of winter. Two 
north-easterly gales in the early part of April assisted to con- 
solidate the pack. The young ice was thickening rapidly, and 
though leads were visible occasionally from the ship, no opening 
of a considerable size appeared in our neighbourhood. In the 
early morning of April 1 we listened again for the wireless signals 
from Port Stanley. The crew had lashed three 20-ft. rickers to 
the mast-heads in order to increase the spread of our aerials, but 
still we failed to hear anything. The rickers had to come down 
subsequently, since we found that the gear could not carry the ac- 
cumulating weight of rime. Soundings proved that the sea con- 



44 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

tinued to shoal as the Endv/rance drifted to the north-west. The 
depth on April 2 was 262 fathoms, with a bottom of glacial mud. 
Four weeks later a sounding gave 172 fathoms. The presence of 
grit in the bottom samples towards the end of the month suggested 
that we were approaching land again. 

The month was not uneventful. During the night of the 3rd 
we heard the ice grinding to the eastward, and in the morning we 
saw that young ice was rafted 8 to 10 ft. high in places. This was 
the first murmur of the danger that was to reach menacing pro- 
portions in later months. The ice was heard grinding and creak- 
ing during the 4th and the ship vibrated slightly. The movement 
of the floe was sufficiently pronounced to interfere with the mag- 
netic work. I gave orders that accumulations of snow, ice, and 
rubbish alongside the Endurance should be shovelled away, so that 
in case of pressure there would be no weight against the topsides 
to check the ship rising above the ice. All hands were busy with 
pick and shovel during the day, and moved many tons of material. 
Again, on the 9th, there were signs of pressure. Young ice was 
piled up to a height of 11 ft. astern of the ship, and the old floe was 
cracked in places. The movement was not serious, but I realized 
that it might be the beginning of trouble for the Expedition. We 
brought certain stores aboard and provided space on deck for the 
dogs in case they had to be removed from the floe at short notice. 
We had run a 500-fathom steel wire round the ship, snow-huts, and 
kennels, with a loop out to the lead ahead, where the dredge was 
used. This wire was supported on ice-pillars, and it served as a 
guide in bad weather when the view was obscured by driving snow 
and a man might have lost himself altogether. I had this wire cut 
in five places, since otherwise it might have been dragged across our 
section of the floe with damaging effect in the event of the ice 
splitting suddenly. 

The dogs had been divided into six teams of nine dogs each. 
Wild, Crean, Macklin, Mcllroy, Marston, and Hurley each had 
charge of a team, and were fully responsible for the exercising, 
training, and feeding of their own dogs. They called in one of 
the surgeons when an animal was sick. We were still losing some 



V rtl^- - -^"^ V » 




THE LONG, LONG NIGHT 



Pholoiiraph hi/ i\ Z7 »,,/,.,, 



WINTER MONTHS 45 

dogs through -worms, and it was unfortunate that the doctors had 
not the proper remedies. Worm-powders were to have been pro- 
vided by the expert Canadian dog-driver I had engaged before sail- 
ing for the south, and when this man did not join the Expedition 
the matter was overlooked. We had fifty-four dogs and eight pups 
early in April, but several were ailing, and the number of mature 
dogs was reduced to fifty by the end of the month. Our store of 
seal-meat amounted now to about 5000 lbs., and I calculated that 
we had enough meat and blubber to feed the dogs for ninety days 
without trenching upon the sledging rations. The teams were 
working well, often with heavy loads. The biggest dog was Her- 
cules, who tipped the beam at 86 lbs. Samson was 11 lbs. lighter, 
but he justified his name one day by starting off at a smart pace 
with a sledge carrying 200 lbs. of blubber and a driver. 

A new berg that was going to give us some cause for anxiety 
made its appearance on the 14th. It was a big berg, and we 
noticed as it lay on the north-west horizon that it had a hum- 
mocky, crevassed appearance at the east end. During the day this 
berg increased its apparent altitude and changed its bearing 
slightly. Evidently it was aground and was holding its position 
against the drifting pack. A sounding at 11 a.m. gave 19Y 
fathoms, with a hard stony or rocky bottom. During the next 
twenty-four hours the Endurance moved steadily towards the 
crevassed berg, which doubled its altitude in that time. We could 
see from the mast-head that the pack was piling and rafting against 
the mass of ice, and it was easy to imagine what would be the fate 
of the ship if she entered the area of disturbance. She would be 
crushed like an eggshell amid the shattering masses. 

Worsley was in the crow's-nest on the evening of the 15th, watch- 
ing for signs of land to the westward, and he reported an interest- 
ing phenomenon. The sun set amid a glow of prismatic colours 
on a line of clouds just above the horizon. A minute later 
Worsley saw a golden glow, which expanded as he watched it, and 
presently the sun appeared again and rose a semi-diameter clear 
above the western horizon. He hailed Crean, who from a position 
on the floe 90 ft. below the crow's-nest also saw the re-born sun. 



46 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

A quarter of an hour later from the deck Worsley saw the sun set 
a second time. This strange phenomenon was due to mirage or 
refraction. We attributed it to an ice-crack to the westward, when 
the band of open water had heated a stratum of air. 

The drift of the pack was not constant, and during the succeed- 
ing days the crevassed berg alternately advanced and receded as 
the Endurance moved with the floe. On Sunday, April 18, it was 
only seven miles distant from the ship. " It is a large berg, about 
three-quarters of a mile long on the side presented to us and 
probably well over 200 ft. high. It is heavily crevassed, as though 
it once formed the serac portion of a glacier. Two specially wide 
and deep chasms across it from south-east to north-west give it the 
appearance of having broken its back on the shoal-ground. Huge 
masses of pressure-ice are piled against its cliffs to a height of about 
60 ft., showing the stupendous force that is being brought to bear 
upon it by the drifting pack. The berg must be very firmly 
aground. We swing the arrow on the current-meter frequently 
and watch with keen attention to see where it will come to rest. 
Will it point straight for the berg, showing that our drift is in that 
direction? It swings slowly round. It points to the north-east 
end of the berg, then shifts slowly to the centre and seems to stop ; 
but it moves again and swings 20 degrees clear of our enemy to the 
south-west. . . . We notice that two familiar bergs, the Eampart 
Berg and the Peak Berg, have moved away from the ship. Prob- 
ably they also have grounded or dragged on the shoal." A strong 
drift to the westward during the night of the 18th relieved our 
anxiety by carrying the Endurance to the lee of the crevassed berg, 
which passed out of our range of vision before the end of the month. 
We said good-bye to the sun on May 1 and entered the period of 
twilight that would be followed by the darkness of midwinter. 
The sun by the aid of refraction just cleared the horizon at noon 
and set shortly before 2 p.m. A fine aurora in the evening was 
dimmed by the full moon, which had risen on April 27 and would 
not set again until May 6. The disappearance of the sun is apt 
to be a depressing event in the polar regions, where the long 
months of darkness involve mental as well as physical strain. But 



WINTEE MONTHS 47 

tlie Endurance's company refused to abandon their customary 
cheerfulness, and a concert in the evening made the Eitz a scene of 
noisy merriment, in strange contrast with the cold, silent world 
that lay outside. " One feels our helplessness as the long winter 
night closes upon us. By this time, if fortune had smiled upon 
the Expedition, we would have been comfortably and securely 
established in a shore base, with depots laid to the south and plans 
made for the long march in the spring and summer. Where will 
we make a landing now ? It is not easy to forecast the future. 
The ice may open in the spring, but by that time we will be far 
to the north-west. I do not think we shall be able to work back 
to Vahsel Bay. There are possible landing-places on the western 
coast of the Weddell Sea, but can we reach any suitable spot early 
enough to attempt the overland journey next year? Time alone 
will tell. I do not think any member of the Expedition is dis-- 
heartened by our disappointment. All hands are cheery and busy, 
and will do their best when the time for action comes. In the 
meantime we must wait." 

The ship's position on Sunday, May 2, was lat. 75° 23' S., 
long. 42° 14' W. The temperature at noon was 5° below zero 
Eahr., and the sky was overcast. A seal was sighted from the 
mast-head at lunch-time, and five men, with two dog teams, set off 
after the prize. They had an uncomfortable journey outward in 
the dim, diffused light, which cast no shadows and so gave no 
warning of irregularities in the white surface. It is a strange 
sensation to be running -along on apparently smooth snow and to 
fall suddenly into an unseen hollow, or bump against a ridge. 
" After going out three miles to the eastward," wrote Worsley in 
describing this seal-hunt, " we range up and down but find nothing, 
until from a hummock I fancy I see something apparently a mile 
away, but probably little more than half that distance. I ran for 
it, found the seal, and with a shout brought up the others at the 
double. The seal was a big Weddell, over 10 ft. long and weighing 
more than 800 lbs. But Soldier, one of the team leaders, went for 
its throat without a moment's hesitation, and we had to beat off 
the dogs before we could shoot the seal. We .caught five or six 



48 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

gallons of blood in a tin for the dogs, and let the teams have a drink 
of fresh blood from the seal. The light was worse than ever on our 
return, and we arrived back in the dark. Sir Ernest met us with 
a lantern and guided us into the lead astern and thence to the 
ship." This was the first seal we had secured since March 19, 
and the meat and blubber made a welcome addition to the stores. 
Three emperor penguins made their appearance in a lead, west 
of the ship on May 3. They pushed their heads through the young 
ice while two of the men were standing by the lead. The men 
imitated the emperor's call and walked slowly, penguin fashion, 
away from the lead. The birds in succession made a magnificent 
leap 3 ft. clear from the water on to the young ice. Thence they 
tobogganed to the bank and followed the men away from the lead. 
Their retreat was soon cut off by a line of men. " W© walk up to 
them, talking loudly and assuming a threatening aspect. Notwith- 
standing our bad manners, the three birds turn towards us, bowing 
ceremoniously. Then, after a closer inspection, they conclude 
that we are undesirable acquaintances and make off across the 
floe. We head them off and finally shepherd them close to the 
ship, where the frenzied barking of the dogs so frightens them that 
they make a determined effort to break through the line. We seize 
them. One bird of philosophic mien goes quietly, led by one flip- 
per. The others show fight, but all are imprisoned in an igloo for 
the night. ... In the afternoon we see five emperors in the 
western lead and capture one. Kerr and Cheetham fight a valiant 
action with two large birds. Kerr rushes at one, seizes it, and is 
promptly knocked down by the angered penguin, which jumps on 
his chest before retiring. Cheetham comes to Kerr's assistance, 
and between them they seize another penguin, bind his bill, and lead 
him, muttering muffled protests, to the ship like an inebriated old 
man between two policemen. He weighs 85 lbs., or 5 lbs. less 
than the heaviest emperor captured previously. Kerr and Cheet- 
ham insist that he is nothing to the big fellow who escaped them." 
This penguin's stomach proved to be filled with freshly caught 
fish up to 10 in. long. Some of the fish were of a coastal or lit- 
toral variety. Two more emperors were captured on the follow- 



WHITER MONTHS 49 

ing day, and, while Wordie was leading one of them towards the 
ship, Wild came along with his team. The dogs, uncontrollable 
in a moment, made a frantic rush for the bird, and were almost 
upon him when their harness caught upon an ice-pylon, which 
they had tried to pass on both sides at once. The result was a 
seething tangle of dogs, traces, and men, and an overturned sledge, 
while the penguin, three yards away, nonchalantly and indif- 
ferently surveyed the disturbance. He had never seen anything 
of the kind before and had no idea at all that the strange dis- 
order might concern him. Several cracks had opened in the 
neighbourhood of the ship, and the emperor penguins, fat and 
glossy of plumage, were appearing in considerable numbers. We 
secured nine of them on May 6, an important addition to our 
supply of fresh food. 

The sun, which had made " positively his last appearance " 
seven days earlier, surprised us by lifting more than half its disk 
above the horizon on May 8. A glow on the northern horizon 
resolved itself into the sun at 11 a.m. that day. A quarter of an 
hour later the unseasonable visitor disappeared again, only to 
rise again at 11.40 a.m., set at 1 p.m., rise at 1.10 p.m., and set 
lingeringly at 1.20 p.m. These curious phenomena were due to 
Tefraction, which amounted to 2° 37' at 1.20 p.m. The tempera- 
ture was 15° below zero Fahr., and we calculated that the refrac- 
tion was 2° above normal. In other words, the sun was visible 
120 miles further south than the refraction tables gave it any 
right to be. The navigating officer naturally was aggrieved. He 
had informed all hands on May 1 that they would not see the sun 
again for seventy days, and now had to endure the jeers of friends 
who affected to believe that his observations were inaccurate by a 
few degrees. 

The Endurance was drifting north-north-east under the influ- 
ence of a succession of westerly and south-westerly breezes. The 
ship's head, at the same time, swung gradually to the left, indi- 
cating that the floe in which she was held was turning. During 
the night of the 14th a very pronounced swing occurred, and when 
daylight came at noon on the 15th we observed a large lead run- 



50 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

ning from the nortli-west horizon towards the ship till it struck 
the western lead, circling ahead of the ship, then continuing to 
the south-south-east. A lead astern connected with this new lead 
on either side of the Endurance, thus separating our floe com- 
pletely from the main body of the pack. A blizzard from the 
south-east swept down during the 16th. At 1 p.m. the blizzard 
lulled for five minutes; then the wind jumped round to the op- 
posite quarter and the barometer rose suddenly. The centre of a 
cyclonic movement had passed over us, and the compass recorded 
an extraordinarily rapid swing of the floe. I could see nothing 
through the mist and sn«w, and I thought it possible that a mag- 
netic storm or a patch of local magnetic attraction had caused the 
compass, and not the floe, to swing. Our floe was now about 2^ 
miles long north and south and 3 miles wide east and west. 

The month of May passed with few incidents of importance. 
Hurley, our handy man, installed our small electric-lighting plant 
and placed lights for occasional use in the observatory, the 
meteorological station, ajid various other points. We could not 
afford to use the electric lamps freely. Hurley also rigged two 
powerful lights on poles projecting from the ship to port and star- 
board. These lamps would illuminate the " dogloos " brilliantly 
on the darkest winter's day and would be invaluable in the event 
of the floe breaking during the dark days of winter. We could 
imagine what it would mean to get fifty dogs aboard without 
lights while the floe was breaking and rafting under our feet. 
May 24, Empire Day, was celebrated vnth the singing of patriotic 
songs in the Ritz, where all hands joined in wishing a speedy 
victory for the British arms. We could not know how the war 
was progressing, but we hoped that the Germans had already been 
driven from Erance and that the Russian armies had put the seal 
on the Allies' success. The war was a constant subject of dis- 
cussion aboard the Endurance, and many campaigns were fought 
on the map during the long months of drifting. The moon in the 
latter part of May was sweeping continuously through our starlit 
sky in great high circles. The weather generally was good, with 
constant minus temperatures. The log on May 27 recorded: 



WINTER MONTHS 51 

" Brilliantly fine clear weather with bright moonlight through- 
out. The moon's rays are wonderfully strong, making midnight 
seem as light as an ordinary overcast midday in temperate climes. 
The great clearness of the atmosphere probably accounts for our 
having eight hours of twilight with a beautiful soft golden glow 
to the northward. A little rime and glazed frost are found aloft. 
The temperature is — 20° Fahr. A few wisps of cirrus-cloud 
are seen and a little frost-smoke shows in one or two directions, 
but the cracks and leads near the ship appear to have frozen over 
again." 

Crean had started to take the pups out for runs, and it was 
very amusing to see them with their rolling canter just managing 
to keep abreast by the sledge and occasionally cocking an eye with 
an appealing look in the hope of being taken aboard for a ride. 
As an addition to their foster-father, Crean, the pups had adopted 
Amundsen. They tyrannized over him most unmercifully. It 
was a common sight to see him, the biggest dog in the pack, sit- 
ting out in the cold with an air of philosophic resignation while 
a corpulent pup occupied the entrance to his dogloo. The in- 
truder was generally the pup Nelson, who just showed his fore- 
paws and face, and one was fairly sure to find Nelly, Roger, and 
Toby coiled up comfortably behind him. At hoosh-time Crean 
had to stand by Amundsen's food, since otherwise the pups would 
eat the big dog's ration while he stood back to give them fair play. 
Sometimes their consciences would smite them and they would 
drag round a seal's head, half a penguin, or a large lump of 
frozen meat or blubber to Amundsen's kennel for rent. It was 
interesting to watch the big dog play with them, seizing them by 
throat or neck in what appeared to be a fierce fashion, while 
reaUy quite gentle with them, and all the time teaching them how 
to hold their own in the world and putting them up to all the 

tricks of dog life. 

The drift of the Endurance in the grip of the pack continued 
without incident of importance through June. Pressure was re- 
ported occasionally, but the ice in the immediate vicinity of the 
ship remained firm. The light was now very bad except in the 



52 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

period when the friendly moon was above the horizon. A faint 
twilight round about noon of each day reminded us of the sun, 
and assisted us in the important work of exercising the dogs. 
The care of the teams was our heaviest responsibility in those 
days. The movement of the floes was beyond all human control, 
and there was nothing to be gained by allowing one's mind to 
struggle with the problems of the future, though it was hard 
to avoid anxiety at times. The conditioning and training of the 
dogs seemed essential, whatever fate might be in store for us, 
and the teams were taken out by their drivers whenever the 
weather permitted. Rivalries arose, as might have been ex- 
pected, and on the 15th of the month a great race, the " Antarctic 
Derby," took place. It was a notable event. The betting had 
been heavy, and every man aboard the ship stood to win or lose 
on the result of the contest. Some money had been staked, but 
the wagers that thrilled were those involving stores of chocolate 
and cigarettes. The course had been laid ofE from Khyber Pass, 
at the eastern end of the old lead ahead of the ship, to a point 
clear of the jibboom, a distance of about 700 yds. Eive teams 
went out in the dim noon twilight, with a zero temperature and 
an aurora flickering faintly to the southward. The starting sig- 
nal was to be given by the flashing of a light on the meteorological 
station. I was appointed starter, Worsley was judge, and James 
was timekeeper. The bos'n, with a straw hat added to his usual 
Antarctic attire, stood on a box near the winning-post, and was 
assisted by a couple of shady characters to shout the odds, which 
were displayed on a board hung around his neck — 6 to 4 on 
Wild, " evens " on Crean, 2 to 1 against Hurley, 6 to 1 against 
Macklin, and 8 to 1 against Mcllroy. Canvas handkerchiefs flut- 
tered from an improvised grand stand^ and the pups, which had 
never seen such strange happenings before, sat round and howled 
with excitement. The spectators could not see far in the dim 
light, but they heard the shouts of the drivers as the teams ap- 
proached and greeted the victory of the favourite with a roar of 
cheering that must have sounded strange indeed to any seals or 
penguins that happened to be in our neighbourhood. Wild's time 



WINTER MONTHS 53 

was 3 min. 16 sec, or at the rate of lOl/g miles per hour for the 
course. 

We celebrated Midwinter's Day on the 22nd. The twilight 
extended over a period of about six hours that day, and there 
was a good light at noon from the moon, and also a northern glow 
with wisps of beautiful pink cloud along the horizon. A sound- 
ing gave 262 fathoms with a mud bottom. No land was in sight 
from the mast-head, although our range of vision extended prob- 
ably a full degree to the westward. The day was observed as a 
holiday, necessary work only being undertaken, and, after the 
best dinner the cook could provide, all hands gathered in the 
Eitz, where speeches, songs, and toasts occupied the evening. 
After supper at midnight we sang " God Save the King " and 
wished each other all success in the days of sunshine and effort 
that lay ahead. At this time the Endurance was making an un- 
usually rapid drift to the north under the influence of a fresh 
southerly to south-westerly breeze. We travelled 39 miles to the 
north in five days before a breeze that only once attained the force 
of a gale and then for no more than an hour. The absence of 
strong winds, in comparison with the almost unceasing winter 
blizzards of the Ross Sea, was a feature of the Weddell Sea that 
impressed itseK upon me during the winter months. 

Another race took place a few days after the " Derby." The 
two crack teams, driven by Hurley and Wild, met in a race from 
Khyber Pass. Wild's team, pulling 910 lbs., or 130 lbs. per dog, 
covered the 700 yds. in 2 min. 9 sec, or at the rate of 111 miles 
per hour. Hurley's team, with the same load, did the run in 2 
min. 16 sec. The race was awarded by the judge to Hurley owing 
to Wild failing to " weigh in " correctly. I happened to be a 
part of the load on his sledge, and a skid over some new drift 
within fifty yards of the winning-post resulted in my being left 
on the snow. It should be said in justice to the dogs that this 
accident while justifying the disqualification, could not have 
made any material difference in the time. 

The approach of the returning sun was indicated by beautiful 
sunrise glows on the horizon in the early days of July. We had 



54 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

nine hours' twilight on the 10th, and the northern sky, low to the 
horizon, was tinted with gold for about seven hours. Numerous 
cracks and leads extended in all directions to within 300 yds. of 
the ship. Thin wavering black lines close to the northern horizon 
were probably distant leads refracted into the sky. Sounds of 
moderate pressure came to our ears occasionally, but the ship was 
not involved. At midnight on the 11th a crack in the lead ahead 
of the Endurance opened out rapidly, and by 2 a.m. was over 200 
yds. wide in places with an area of open water to the south-west. 
Sounds of pressure were heard along this lead, which soon closed 
to a width of about 30 yds. and then froze over. The tempera- 
ture at that time was — 23° Fahr. 

The most severe blizzard we had experienced in the Weddell 
Sea swept down upon the Endurance on the evening of the 13th, 
and by breakfast-time on the following morning the kennels to 
the windward or southern side of the ship were buried under 5 ft. 
of drift. I gave orders that no man should venture beyond the 
kennels. The ship was invisible at a distance of fifty yards, and 
it was impossible to preserve one's sense of direction in the rag- 
ing wind and suffocating drift. To walk against the gale was 
out of the question. Face and eyes became snowed up within 
two minutes, and serious frost-bites would have been the penalty 
of perseverance. The dogs stayed in their kennels for the most 
part, the " old stagers " putting out a paw occasionally in order 
to keep open a breathing-hole. By evening the gale had attained 
—a force of 60 or 70 miles an hour, and the ship was trembling 
under the attack. But we were snug enough in our quarters 
aboard until the morning of the 14th, when all hands turned out 
to shovel the snow from deck and kennels. The wind was still 
keen and searching, with a temperature of something like — 30° 
Eahr., and it was necessary for us to be on guard against frost- 
bite. At least 100 tons of snow were piled against the bows and 
port side, where the weight of the drift had forced the floe down- 
ward. The lead ahead had opened out during the night, cracked 
the pack from north to south and frozen over again, adding 300 
yds. to the distance between the ship and " Khyber Pass." The 



WINTEE MONTHS 55 

breakdown gang had completed its work by lunch-time. The 
gale was then decreasing and the three-days-old moon showed as 
a red crescent on the northern horizon. The temperature during 
the blizzard had ranged from —21° to —33.5° Fahr. It is 
usual for the temperature to rise during a blizzard, and the 
failure to produce any Fohn effect of this nature suggested an 
absence of high land for at least 200 miles to the south and south- 
west. The weather did not clear until the 16th. We saw then 
that the appearance of the surrounding pack had been altered com- 
pletely by the blizzard. The " island " floe containing the En- 
durance still stood fast, but cracks and masses of ice thrown up 
by pressure could be seen in all directions. An area of open 
water was visible on the horizon to the north, with a water indica- 
tion in the northern sky. 

The ice-pressure, which was indicated by distant rumblings 
and the appearance of formidable ridges, was increasingly a 
cause of anxiety. The areas of disturbance were gradually ap- 
proaching the ship. During July 21 we could hear the grind- 
ing and crashing of the working floes to the south-west and west 
and could see cracks opening, working, and closing ahead. " The 
ice is rafting up to a height of 10 or 15 ft. in places, the opposing 
floes are moving against one another at the rate of about 200 yds. 
per hour. The noise resembles the roar of heavy, distant surf. 
Standing on the stirring ice one can imagine it is disturbed by 
the breathing and tossing of a mighty giant below." Early on 
the afternoon of the 22nd a 2-ft. crack, running south-west and 
north-east for a distance of about two miles, approached to within 
35 yds. of the port quarter. I had all the sledges brought aboard 
and set a special watch in case it became necessary to get the 
dogs off the floe in a hurry. This crack was the result of heavy 
pressure 300 yds. away on the port bow, where huge blocks of ice 
were piled up in wild and threatening confusion. The pressure 
at that point was enormous. Blocks weighing many tons were 
raised 15 ft. above the level of the floe. I arranged to divide the 
night watches with Worsley and Wild, and none of us had much 
rest. The ship was shaken by heavy bumps, and we were on the 



56 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

alert to see that no dogs had fallen into cracks. The morning 
light showed that our island had been reduced considerably during 
the night. Our long months of rest and safety seemed to be at 
an end, and a period of stress had begun. 

During the following day I had a store of sledging provisions, 
oil, matches, and other essentials, placed on the upper deck handy 
to the starboard quarter boat, so as to be in readiness for a sudden 
emergency. The ice was grinding and working steadily to the 
southward, and in the evening some large cracks appeared on the 
port quarter, while a crack alongside opened out to 15 yds. The 
blizzard seemed to have set the ice in strong movement towards 
the north, and the south-westerly and west-south-westerly winds 
that prevailed two days out of three maintained the drift. I 
hoped that this would continue unchecked, since our chance of 
getting clear of the pack early in the spring appeared to depend 
upon our making a good northing. Soundings at this time gave 
depths of from 186 to 190 fathoms, with a glacial mud bottom. 
No land was in sight. The light was improving. A great deal 
of ice-pressure was heard and observed in all directions during 
the 25th, much of it close to the port quarter of the ship. On the 
starboard bow huge blocks of ice, weighing many tons and 5 ft. 
in thickness, were pushed up on the old floe to a height of 15 to 
20 ft. The floe that held the Endurance was swung to and fro by 
the pressure during the day, but came back to the old bearing be- 
fore midnight. " The ice for miles around is much looser. 
There are numerous cracks and short leads to the north-east and 
south-east. Eidges are being forced up in all directions, and 
there is a water-sky to the south-east. It would be a relief to be 
able to make some effort on our own behalf ; but we can do noth- 
ing until the ice releases our ship. If the floes continue to loosen, 
we may break out within the next few weeks and resume the 
fight. In the meantime the pressure continues, and it is hard 
to foresee the outcome. Just before noon to-day (July 26) the 
top of the sun appeared by refraction for one minute, seventy-nine 
days after our last sunset. A few minutes earlier a small patch 
of the sun had been thrown up on one of the black streaks above 









\ 








I'lii-: ici;ti i;xing sun 



Photograph by F. Hurley 



WINTER MONTHS 57 

the horizon. All hands are cheered by the indication that tlie 
end of the winter darkness is near. . . . Clark finds that with 
returning daylight the diatoms are again appearing. His nets 
and line are stained a pale yellow, and much of the newly formed 
ice has also a faint brown or yellow tinge. The diatoms cannot 
niultiply without light, and the ice formed since February can be 
distinguished in the pressure-ridges by its clear blue colour. The 
older masses of ice are of a dark earthy brown, dull yellow, or 
reddish brown." 

The break-up of our floe came suddenly on Sunday, August 1, 
just one year after the Endurance left the South- West India Docks 
on the voyage to the Far South. The position was lat. 12° 26' S., 
long. 48° 10' W. The morning brought a moderate south- 
westerly gale with heavy snow, and at 8 a.m., after some warn- 
ing movements of the ice, the floe cracked 40 yds. off the star- 
board bow. Two hours later the floe began to break up all round 
us under pressure and the ship listed over 10 degrees to star- 
board. I had the dogs and sledges brought aboard at once and 
the gangway hoisted. The animals behaved well. They came 
aboard eagerly as though realizing their danger, and were placed 
in their quarters on deck without a single fight occurring. The 
pressure was cracking the floe rapidly, rafting it close to the ship 
and forcing masses of ice beneath the keel. Presently the En- 
durance listed heavily to port against the gale, and at the same 
time was forced ahead, astern, and sideways several times by the 
grinding floes. She received one or two hard nips, but resisted 
them without as much as a creak. It looked at one stage as if 
the ship was to be made the plaything of successive floes, and I 
was relieved when she came to a standstill with a large piece of 
our old " dock " under the starboard bilge. I had the boats cleared 
away ready for lowering, got up some additional stores, and set 
a double watch. All hands were warned to stand by, get what 
sleep they could, and have their warmest clothing at hand. 
Around us lay the ruins of " Dog Town " amid the debris of pres- 
sure-ridges. Some of the little dwellings had been crushed flat 
beneath blocks of ice; others had been swallowed and pulverized 



58 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

when the ice opened beneath them and closed again. It was a sad 
sight, but my chief concern just then was the safety of the rudder, 
which was being attacked viciously by the ice. We managed to 
pole away a large lump that had become jammed between the 
rudder and the stem-post, but I could see that damage had been 
done, though a close examination was not possible that day. 

After the ship had come to a standstill in her new position very 
heavy pressure was set up. Some of the trenails were started 
and beams buckled slightly under the terrific stresses. But the 
Endurance had been built to withstand the attacks of the ice, and 
she lifted bravely as the floes drove beneath her. The effects of 
the pressure around us were awe-inspiring. Mighty blocks of 
ice, gripped between meeting floes, rose slowly till they jumped 
like cherry-stones squeezed between thumb and finger. The pres- 
sure of millions of tons of moving ice was crushing and smashing 
inexorably. If the ship was once gripped firmly her fate would 
be sealed. 

The gale from the south-west blew all night and moderated 
during the afternoon of the 2nd to a stiff breeze. The pressure 
had almost ceased. Apparently the gale had driven the southern 
pack down upon us, causing congestion in our area; the pressure 
had stopped when the whole of the pack got into motion. The 
gale had given us some northing, but it had dealt the Endurance 
what might prove to be a severe blow. The rudder had been 
driven hard over to starboard and the blade partially torn away 
from the rudder-head. Heavj' masses of ice were still jammed 
against the stern, and it was impossible to ascertain the extent of 
the damage at that time. I felt that it would be impossible in 
any case to effect repairs in the moving pack. The ship lay steady 
all night, and the sole sign of continuing pressure was an oc- 
casional slight rumbling shock. We rigged shelters and kennels 
for the dogs inboard. 

The weather on August 3 was overcast and misty. We had 
nine hours of twilight, with good light at noon. There was no 
land in sight for ten miles from the mast-head. The pack as far 
as the eye could reach was in a condition of chaos, much rafted 



WINTEE MONTHS 59 

and consolidated, witli very large pressure-ridges in all directions. 
At 9 p.m. a rougli altitude of Campus gave the latitude as 71° 55' 
17" S. The drift, therefore, had been about 37 miles to the north 
in three days. Eour of the poorest dogs were shot this day. 
They were suffering severely from worms, and we could not af- 
ford to keep sick dogs under the changed conditions. The sun 
showed through the clouds on the northern horizon for an hour 
on the 4th. There was no open water to be seen from aloft in 
any direction. We saw from the mast-head to west-south-west 
an appearance of barrier, land, or a very long iceberg, about 20 
odd miles away, but the horizon clouded over before we could 
determine its nature. We tried twice to make a sounding that 
day, but failed on each occasion. The Kelvin machine gave no 
bottom at the full length of the line, 370 fathoms. After much 
labour we made a hole in the ice near the stern-post large enough 
for the Lucas machine with a 32-lb. lead ; but this appeared to be 
too light. The machine stopped at 452 fathoms, leaving us in 
doubt as to whether bottom had been reached. Then in heaving 
up we lost the lead, the thin wire cutting its way into the ice 
and snapping. All hands and the carpenter were busy this day 
making and placing kennels on the upper deck, and by nightfall 
all the dogs were comfortably housed, ready for any weather. 
The sun showed through the clouds above the northern horizon 
for nearly an hour. 

The remaining days of August were comparatively uneventful. 
The ice around the ship froze firm again and little movement oc- 
curred in our neighbourhood. The training of the dogs, includ- 
ing the puppies, proceeded actively, and provided exercise as 
well as occupation. The drift to the north-west continued stead- 
ily. We had bad luck with soundings, the weather interfering 
at times and the gear breaking on several occasions, but a big in- 
crease in the depth showed that we had passed over the edge of 
the Weddell Sea plateau. A sounding of about 1700 fathoms on 
August 10 agreed fairly well with Filchner's 1924 fathoms, 130 
miles east of our then position. An observation at noon of the 
8th had given us lat. 71° 23' S., long. 49° 13' W. Minus tempera- 



60 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

tures prevailed still, but the daylight was increasing. We cap- 
tured a few emperor penguins which were making their way to 
the south-west. Ten penguins taken on the 19th were all in 
poor condition, and their stomachs contained nothing but stones 
and a few cuttle-fish beaks. A sounding on the 17th gave 1676 
fathoms, 10 miles west of the charted position of Morell Land. 
No land could be seen from the mast-head, and I decided that 
Morell Land must be added to the long list of Antarctic islands and 
continental coasts that on close investigation have resolved them- 
selves into icebergs. On clear days we could get an extended 
view in all directions from the mast-head, and the line of the 
pack was broken only by familiar bergs. About one hundred 
bergs were in view on a fine day, and they seemed practically the 
same as when they started their drift with us nearly seven months 
earlier. The scientists wished to inspect some of the neighbouring 
bergs at close quarters, but sledge travelling outside the well- 
trodden area immediately around the ship proved difficult and oc- 
casionally dangerous. On August 20, for example, Worsley, Hur- 
ley, and Greenstreet started off for the Rampart Berg and got on 
to a lead of young ice that undulated perilously beneath their feet. 
A quick turn saved them. 

A wonderful mirage of the Fata Morgana type was visible on 
August 20. The day was clear and bright, with a blue sky over- 
head and some rime aloft. " The distant pack is thrown up into 
towering barrier-like cliffs, which are reflected in blue lakes and 
lanes of water at their base. Great white and golden cities of 
Oriental appearance at close intervals along these cliff-tops indi- 
cate distant bergs, some not previously known to us. Floating 
above these are wavering violet and creamy lines of still more 
remote bergs and pack. The lines rise and fall, tremble, dissipate, 
and reappear in an endless transformation scene. The southern 
pack and bergs, catching the sun's rays, are golden, but to the 
north the ice-masses are purple. Here the bergs assume chang- 
ing forms, first a castle, then a balloon just clear of the horizon, 
that changes swiftly into an immense mushroom, a mosque, or a 
cathedral. The principal characteristic is the vertical lengthen- 



Wl 



m 








WINTER MONTHS 61 

ing of the object, a small pressure-ridge being given the appear- 
ance of a line of battlements or towering cliffs. The mirage is 
produced by refraction and is intensified by the columns of com- 
paratively vrarm air rising from several cracks and leads that have 
opened eight to twenty miles away north and south." We 
noticed this day that a considerable change had taken place in 
our position relative to the Eampart Berg. It appeared that a 
big lead had opened and that there had been some differential 
movement of the pack. The opening movement might presage 
renewed pressure. A few hours later the dog teams, returning 
from exercise, crossed a narrow crack that had appeared ahead 
of the ship. This crack opened quickly to 60 ft. and would have 
given us trouble if the dogs had been left on the wrong side. It 
closed on the 25th and pressure followed in its neighbourhood. 

On August 24 we were two miles north of the latitude of 
Morell's farthest south, and over 10° of longitude, or more than 
200 miles, west of his position. From the mast-head no land 
could be seen within twenty miles, and no land of over 500 ft. 
altitude could have escaped observation on our side of long. 52° 
W. A sounding of 1900 fathoms on August 25 was further evi- 
dence of the non-existence of New South Greenland. There was 
some movement of the ice near the ship during the concluding 
days of the month. All hands were called out in the night of 
August 26, sounds of pressure having been followed by the crack- 
ing of the ice alongside the ship, but the trouble did not develop 
immediately. Late on the night of the 31st the ice began to 
work ahead of the ship and along the port side. Creaking and 
groaning of timbers, accompanied by loud snapping sounds fore 
and aft, told their story of strain. The pressure continued dur- 
ing the following day, beams and deck planks occasionally buck- 
ling to the strain. The ponderous floes were grinding against 
each other under the influence of wind and current, and our ship 
seemed to occupy for the time being an undesirable position near 
the centre of the disturbance; but she resisted staunchly and 
showed no sign of water in the bilges, although she had not been 
pumped out for six months. The pack extended to the horizon 



62 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

in every direction. I calculated that we were 250 miles from 
the nearest known land to the westward, and more than 500 miles 
from the nearest outpost of civilization, Wilhelmina Bay. I » 
hoped we would not have to undertake a march across the mov- 
ing ice-fields. The Endurance we knew to be stout and true; but 
no ship ever built by man could live if taken fairly in the grip 
of the floes and prevented from rising to the surface of the 
grinding ice. These were anxious days. In the early morning 
of September 2 the ship jumped and shook to the accompaniment 
of cracks and groans, and some of the men who had been in the 
berths hurried on deck. The pressure eased a little later in the 
day, when the ice on the port side broke away from the ship to 
just abaft the main rigging. The Endurance was still held aft 
and at the rudder, and a large mass of ice could be seen adhering 
to the port bow, rising to within three feet of the surface. I 
wondered if this ice had got its grip by piercing the sheathing. 



i« 



>* 



CHAPTER IV 

LOSS OF THE ENDURANCE 

The ice did not trouble us again seriously until the end of Sep- 
tember, thougb during the whole month the floes were seldom en- 
tirely without movement. The roar of pressure would come to 
us across the otherwise silent ice-fields, and bring with it a threat 
and a warning. Watching from the crow's-nest, we could see 
sometimes the formation of pressure-ridges. The sunshine glit- 
tered on newly riven ice-surfaces as the masses of shattered floe 
rose and fell away from the line of pressure. The area of dis- 
turbance would advance towards us, recede, and advance again. 
The routine of work and play on the Endurance proceeded stead- 
ily. Our plans and preparations for any contingency that might 
arise during the approaching summer had been made, but there 
seemed always plenty to do in and about our prisoned ship. Runs 
with the dogs and vigorous games of hockey and football on the 
rough snow-covered floe kept all hands in good fettle. The rec- 
ord of one or two of these September days will indicate the nature 
of our life and our surroundings : 

"September 4. — Temperature, — 14.1° Fahr. Light easterly 
breeze, blue sky, and stratus clouds. During forenoon notice a 
distinct terra-cotta or biscuit colour in the stratus clouds to the 
north. This travelled from east to west and could conceivably 
have come from some of the Graham Land volcanoes, now about 
300 miles distant to the north-west. The upper current of air 
probably would come from that direction. Heavy rime. Pack 
unbroken and unchanged as far as visible. No land for 22 miles. 
No animal life observed." 

"September 1. — Temperature, — 10.8° Fahr, Moderate east- 
erly to southerly winds, overcast and misty, with light snow till 

03 



64 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

midnight, -when weather cleared. Blue sky and fine clear weather 
to noon. Much rime aloft. Thick fresh snow on ship and floe 
that glistens brilliantly in the morning sunlight. Little clouds 
of faint violet-coloured mist rise from the lower and brinier por- 
tions of the pack, which stretches unbroken to the horizon. Very 
great refraction all round. A tabular berg about fifty feet high 
ten miles west is a good index of the amount of refraction. On 
ordinary days it shows from the mast-head, clear-cut against the 
sky; with much refraction, the pack beyond at the back of it 
lifts up into view; to-day a broad expanse of miles of pack is 
seen above it. Numerous other bergs generally seen in silhouette 
are, at first sight, lost, but after a closer scrutiny they appear as 
large lumps or dark masses well below the horizon. Eefraction 
generally results in too big an altitude when observing the sun 
for position, but to-day the horizon is thrown up so much that the 
altitude is about 12' too small. No land visible for twenty miles. 
No animal life observed. Lower Clark's tow-net with 566 fathoms 
of wire, and hoist it up at two and a half miles an hour by walking 
across the floe with the wire. Result rather meagre — jelly-fish 
and some fish larvse. Exercise dogs in sledge teams. The young 
dogs, under Crean's care, pull as well, though not so strongly, as 
the best team in the pack. Hercules for the last fortnight or 
more has constituted himself leader of the orchestra. Two or 
three times in the twenty-four hours he starts a howl — a deep, 
melodious howl — and in about thirty seconds he has the whole 
pack in full song, the great deep, booming, harmonious song of 
the half-wolf pack." 

By the middle of September we were running short of fresh 
meat for the dogs. The seals and penguins seemed to have 
abandoned our neighbourhood altogether. Nearly five months had 
passed since we killed a seal, and penguins had been seen seldom. 
Clark, who was using his trawl as often as possible, reported that 
there was a marked absence of plavJcton in the sea, and we as- 
sumed that the seals and the penguins had gone in search of their 
accustomed food. The men got an emperor on the 23rd. The 
dogs, which were having their sledging exercisCj became wildly 



LOSS OF THE ENDUE ANCE 65 

excited when the penguin, which had risen in a crack, was driven 
ashore, and the best efforts of the drivers failed to save it alive. 
On the following day Wild, Hurley, Macklin, and Mcllroy took 
their teams to the Stained Berg, about seven miles west of the 
ship, and on their way back got a female crab-eater, which they 
killed, skinned, and left to be picked up later. They ascended to 
the top of the berg, which lay in about lat. 69° 30' S., long. 51° 
W., and from an elevation of 110 ft. could see no land. Samples 
of the discoloured ice from the berg proved to contain dust with 
black gritty particles or sand-grains. Another seal, a bull Wed- 
dell, was secured on the 26th. The return of seal-life was oppor- 
tune, since we had nearly finished the winter supply of dog- 
biscuit and wished to be able to feed the dogs on meat. The seals 
meant a supply of blubber, moreover, to supplement our small 
remaining stock of coal when the time came to get up steam again. 
We initiated a daylight-saving system on this day by putting 
forward the clock one hour. " This is really pandering to the 
base but universal passion that men, and especially seafarers, have 
for getting up late, otherwise we would be honest and make our 
routine earlier instead of flogging the clock." 

During the concluding days of September the roar of the pres- 
sure grew louder, and I could see that the area of disturbance was 
rapidly approaching the ship. Stupendous forces were at work 
and the fields of firm ice around the Endurance were being dimin- 
ished steadily. September 30 was a bad day. It began well, for 
we got two penguins and five seals during the morning. Three 
other seals were seen. But at 3 p.m. cracks that had opened dur- 
ing the night alongside the ship commenced to work in a lateral 
direction. The ship sustained terrific pressure on the port side 
forward, the heaviest shocks being under the fore-rigging. It 
was the worst squeeze we had experienced. The decks shuddered 
and jumped, beams arched, and stanchions buckled and shook. 
I ordered all hands to stand by in readiness for whatever emer- 
gency might arise. Even the dogs seemed to feel the tense anx- 
iety of the moment. But the ship resisted valiantly, and just 
when it appeared that the limit of her strength was being reached 



66 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

the huge floe that was pressing down upon us cracked across and 
so gave relief. " The behaviour of our ship in the ice has been 
magnificent," wrote Worsley. " Since we have been beset her 
staunchness and endurance have been almost past belief again 
and again. She has been nipped with a million-ton pressure and 
risen nobly, falling clear of the water out on the ice. She has 
been thrown to and fro like a shuttlecock a dozen times. She has 
been strained, her beams arched upwards, by the fearful pressure ; 
her very sides opened and closed again as she was actually bent 
and curved along her length, groaning like a living thing. It 
will be sad if such a brave little craft should be finally crushed 
in the remorseless, slowly strangling grip of the Weddell pack 
after ten months of the bravest and most gallant fight ever put 
up by a ship." 

The Endurance deserved all that could be said in praise of 
her. Shipwrights had never done sounder and better work; but 
how long could she continue the fight under such conditions ? We 
were drifting into the congested area of the western Weddell Sea, 
the worst portion of the worst sea in the world, where the pack, 
forced on irresistibly by wind and current, impinges on the west- 
ern shore and is driven up in huge corrugated ridges and chaotic 
fields of pressure. The vital question for us was whether or not 
the ice would open sufiiciently to release us, or at least give us 
a chance of release, before the drift carried us into the most dan- 
gerous area. There was no answer to be got from the silent bergs 
and the grinding floes, and we faced the month of October with 
anxious hearts. 

The leads in the pack appeared to have opened out a little on 
October 1, but not sufiiciently to be workable even if we had been 
able to release the Endurance from the floe. The day was calm, 
cloudy and misty in the forenoon and clearer in the afternoon, 
when we observed a well-defined parhelia. The ship was sub- 
jected to slight pressure at intervals. Two bull crab-eaters 
climbed on to the floe close to the ship and were shot by Wild. 
They were both big animals in prime condition, and I felt that 
there was no more need for anxiety as to the supply of fresh 




Photonniph bii i'. Huiieij 
THE BEGINNING OF THE END 
The ship heeled over as a result of very heavy pressure 



LOSS OF THE ENDURANCE 67 

meat for the dogs. Seal-liver made a welcome change in our 
own menu. The two bulls were marked, like many of their kind, 
with long parallel scars about three inches apart, evidently the 
work of the killers. A bull we killed on the following day had 
four parallel scars, sixteen inches long, on each side of its body; 
they were fairly deep and one flipper had been nearly torn away. 
The creature must have escaped from the jaws of a killer by a 
very small margin. Evidently life beneath the pack is not always 
monotonous. We noticed that several of the bergs in the neigh- 
bourhood of the ship were changing their relative positions more 
than they had done for months past. The floes were moving. 

Our position on Sunday, October 3, was lat. 69° 14' S., long. 
51° 8' W. During the night the floe holding the ship aft cracked 
in several places, and this appeared to have eased the strain on 
the rudder. The forenoon was misty, with falls of snow, but 
the weather cleared later in the day and we could see that the 
pack was breaking. New leads had appeared, while several old 
leads had closed. Pressure-ridges had risen along some of the 
cracks. The thickness of the season's ice, now about 230 days 
old, was 4 ft. 5 in. under 7 or 8 in. of snow. This ice had been 
slightly thicker in the early part of September, and I assumed 
that some melting had begun below. Clark had recorded plus 
temperatures at depths of 150 to 200 fathoms in the concluding 
days of September. The ice obviously had attained its maxi- 
mum thickness by direct freezing, and the heavier older floes 
had been created by the consolidation of pressure-ice and the 
overlapping of floes under strain. The air temperatures were still 
low, — 24.5° Fahr. being recorded on October 4. 

The movement of the ice was increasing. Frost-smoke from 
opening cracks was showing in all directions during October 6. 
It had the appearance in one place of a great prairie fire, rising 
from the surface and getting higher as it drifted off before the 
wind in heavy dark, rolling masses. At another point there was 
the appearance of a train running before the wind, the smoke ris- 
ing from the locomotive straight upwards; and the smoke col- 
umns elsewhere gave the effect of warships steaming in line ahead. 



68 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

During the following day the leads and cracks opened to such an 
extent that if the Endurance could have been forced forward for 
thirty yards we could have proceeded for two or three miles; but 
the effort did not promise any really useful result. The condi- 
tions did not change materially during the rest of that week. 
The position on Sunday, October 10, was lat. 69° 21' S., long. 50° 
34' W. A thaw made things uncomfortable for us that day. The 
temperature had risen from — 10° to +29.8° Fahr., the highest 
we had experienced since January, and the ship got dripping wet 
between decks. The upper deck was clear of ice and snow and 
the cabins became unpleasantly messy. The dogs, who hated wet, 
had a most unhappy air. Undoubtedly one grows to like familiar 
conditions. We had lived long in temperatures that would have 
seemed distressingly low in civilized life, and now we were made 
uncomfortable by a degree of warmth that would have left the 
unaccustomed human being still shivering. The thaw was an 
indication that winter was over, and we began preparations for 
re-occupying the cabins on the main deck. I had the shelter- 
house round the stern pulled down on the 11th and made other 
preparations for working the ship as soon as she got clear. The 
carpenter had built a wheel-house over the wheel aft as shelter 
in cold and heavy weather. The ice was still loosening and no 
land was visible for twenty miles. 

The temperature remained relatively high for several days. 
All hands moved to their summer quarters in the upper cabins 
on the 12th, to the accompaniment of much noise and laughter. 
Spring was in the air, and if there were no green growing things 
to gladden our eyes, there were at least many seals, penguins, and 
even whales disporting themselves in the leads. The time for re- 
newed action was coming, and though our situation was grave 
enough, we were facing the future hopefully. The dogs were kept 
in a state of uproar by the sight of so much game. They became 
almost frenzied when a solemn-looking emperor penguin inspected 
them gravely from some point of vantage on the floe and gave ut- 
terance to an apparently derisive " Knark ! " At 7 p.m. on the 
13th the ship broke free of the floe on which she had rested to 



LOSS OF THE ENDURANCE 69 

starboard sufficiently to come upright. The rudder freed itself, 
but the propeller was found to be athwartship, having been forced 
into that position by the floe some time after August 1. The water 
was very clear and we could see the rudder, which appeared to 
have suffered only a slight twist to port at the water-line. It 
moved quite freely. The propeller, as far as we could see, was 
intact, but it could not be moved by the hand-gear, probably 
owing to a film of ice in the stern gland and sleeve. I did not 
think it advisable to attempt to deal with it at that stage. The 
ship had not been pumped for eight months, but there was no 
water and not much ice in the bilges. Meals were served again 
in the wardroom that day. 

The south-westerly breeze freshened to a gale on the lith, and 
the temperature fell from +31° Fahr. to — 1° Fahr. At mid- 
night the ship came free from the floe and drifted rapidly astern. 
Her head fell off before the wind until she lay nearly a-t right angles 
across the narrow lead. This was a dangerous position for rud- 
der and propeller. The spanker was set, but the weight of the 
wind on the ship gradually forced the floes open until the Endur- 
ance swung right round and drove 100 yds. along the lead. Then 
the ice closed and at 3 a.m. we were fast again. The wind died 
down during the day and the pack opened for five or six miles to 
the north. It was still loose on the following morning, and I had 
the boiler pumped up with the intention of attempting to clear 
the propeller ; but one of the manholes developed a leak, the pack- 
ing being perished by cold or loosened by contraction, and the 
boiler had to be emptied out again. 

The pack was rather closer on Sunday the I7th. Top-sails and 
head-sails were set in the afternoon, and with a moderate north- 
easterly breeze we 'tried to force the ship ahead out of the lead ; 
but she was held fast. Later that day heavy pressure developed. 
The two floes between which the Endurance was lying began to 
close and the ship was subjected to a series of tremendously heavy 
strains. In the engine-room, the weakest point, loud groans, 
crashes, and hammering sounds were heard. The iron plates on 
the floor buckled up and over-rode with loud clangs. Meanwhile 



70 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

the floes were grinding off each other's projecting points and 
throwing up pressure-ridges. The ship stood the strain well for 
nearly an hour and then, to my great relief, began to rise with 
heavy jerks and jars. She lifted ten inches forward and three 
feet four inches aft, at the same time heeling six degrees to port. 
The ice was getting helow us and the immediate danger had 
passed. The position was lat. 69° 19' S., long. 50° 40' W. 

The next attack of the ice came on the afternoon of October 
18th. The two floes began to move laterally, exerting great pres- 
sure on the ship. Suddenly the floe on the port side cracked and 
huge pieces of ice shot up from iinder the port bilge. Within a 
few seconds the ship heeled over until she had a list of thirty 
degrees to port, being held under the starboard bilge by the oppos- 
ing floe. The lee boats were now almost resting on the floe. The 
midship dog-kennels broke away and crashed down on the lee 
kennels, and the howls and barks of the frightened dogs assisted 
to create a perfect pandemonium. Everything movable on deck 
and below fell to the lee side, and for a few minutes it looked as 
if the Endurance would be thrown upon her beam ends. Order 
was soon restored. I had all fires put out and battens hailed on 
the deck to give the dogs a foothold and enable people to get about. 
Then the crew lashed all the movable gear. If the ship had 
heeled any further it would have been necessary to 'release the lee 
boats and pull them clear, and Worsley was watching to give the 
alarm. Hurley meanwhile descended to the floe and took some 
photographs of the ship in her unusual position. Dinner in the 
wardroom that evening was a curious affair. Most of the diners 
had to sit on the deck, their feet against battens and their plates 
on their knees. At 8 p.m. the floes opened, and within a few min- 
utes the Endurance was nearly upright again. Orders were given 
for the ice to be chipped clear of the rudder. The men poled the 
blocks out of the way when they 'had been detached from the floe 
with the long ice-chisels, and we were able to haul the ship's 
stem into a clear berth. Then the boiler was pumped up. This 
work was completed early in the morning of October 19, and 
during that day the engineer lit fires and got up steam very 




3 



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a. 



o 

3 
< 

a 






< 



LOSS OF THE ENDURANCE 71 

slowly, in order to economize fuel and avoid any strain on the 
chilled boilers by unequal heating. The crew cut up all loose 
lumber, boxes, etc., and put them in the bunkers for fuel. The 
day was overcast, with occasional snowfalls, the temperature +12° 
Fahr. The ice in our neighbourhood was quiet, but in the dis- 
tance pressure was at work. The wind freshened in the evening, 
and we ran a wire-mooring astern. The barometer at 11 p.m. 
stood at 28-96, the lowest since the gales of July. An uproar 
among the dogs attracted attention late in the afternoon, and we 
found a 25-ft. whale cruising up and down in our pool. It 
pushed its head up once in characteristic killer fashion, but we 
judged from its small curved dorsal fin that it was a specimen of 
Balcenoptera acutostrata, not Orca gladiator. 

A strong south-westerly wind was blowing on October 20 and 
the pack was working. The Endurance was imprisoned securely 
in the pool, but our chance might come at any time. Watches 
were set so as to be ready for working ship. Wild and Hudson, 
Greenstreet and Cheatham, Worsley and Crean, took the deck 
watches, and the Chief Engineer and Second Engineer kept watch 
and watch with three of the A.B.'s for stokers. The staff and 
the forward hands, with the exception of the cook, the carpenter, 
and his mate, were on "watch and watch" — that is, four hours 
on deck and four hours below, or off duty. The carpenter was 
busy making a light punt, which might prove useful in the nav- 
igation of lanes and channels. At 11 a.m. we gave the engines a 
gentle trial-turn astern. Everything worked well after eight 
months of frozen inactivity, except that the bilge-pump and the 
discharge proved to be frozen up; they were cleared with some 
little difficulty. The engineer reported that to get steam he had 
used one ton of coal, with wood-ashes and blubber. The fires re- 
quired to keep the boiler warm consumed one and a quarter to 
one and a half cwt. of coal per day. We had about fifty tons of 
coal remaining in the bunkers. 

October 21 and 22 were days of low temperature, which caused 
the open leads to freeze over. The pack was working, and ever 
and anon the roar of pressure came to our ears. We waited for 



72 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

the next move of the gigantic forces arrayed against us. The 
23rd brought a strong north-westerly wind, and the movement 
of the floes and pressure-ridges became more formidable. Then on 
Sunday, October 23, there came what for the Endurance was the 
beginning of the end. The position was lat. 69° 11' S., long. 51° 
5' W. We had now twenty-two and a half hours of daylight, and 
throughout the day we watched the threatening advance of the 
floes. At 6.45 p.m. the ship sustained heavy pressure in a dan- 
gerous position. The attack of the ice is illustrated roughly in 
the appended diagram. The shaded portions represent the pool, 

FLOE I 1 1 / FLOE 

POOLS OF YOUNG 
ICE 




FLOE ) FLOE 



covered with new ice that afforded no support to the ship, and 
the arrows indicate the direction of the pressure exercised by the 
thick floes and pressure-ridges. The onslaught was all but ir- 
resistible. The Endurance groaned and quivered as her star- 
board quarter was forced against the floe, twisting the stern- 
post and starting the heads and ends of planking. The ice had 
lateral as well as forward movement, and the ship was twisted and 
actually bent by the stresses. She began to leak dangerously at 
once. 

I had the pumps rigged, got up steam, and started the bilge- 
pumps at 8 p.m. The pressure by that time had relaxed. The 
ship was making water rapidly aft, and the carpenter set to work 
to make a coffer-dam astern of the engines. All hands worked, 
watch and watch, throughout the night, pumping ship and helping 
the carpenter. By morning the leak was being kept in cheek. 



LOSS OF THE ENDURANCE 73 

The carpenter and his assistants caulked the coffer-dam with strips 
of blankets and nailed strips over the seams wherever possible. 
The main or hand pump was frozen up and could not be used at 
once. After it had been knocked out Worsley, Greenstreet, and 
Hudson went down in the bunkers and cleared the ice from the 
bilges. " This is not a pleasant job," wrote Worsley. " We 
have to dig a hole down through the coal while the beams and 
timbers groan and crack all around us like pistol-shots. The 
darkness is almost complete, and we mess about in the wet with 
half -frozen hands and try ito keep the coal from slipping back into 
the bilges. The men on deck pour buckets of boiling water from 
the galley down the pipe as we prod and hammer from below, and 
at last we get the pump clear, cover up the bilges to keep the 
coal out, and rush on deck, very thankful to find ourselves safe 
again in the open air." 

Monday, October 25, dawned cloudy and misty, with a minus 
temperature and a strong south-easterly breeze. All hands were 
pumping at intervals and assisting the carpenter with the coffer- 
dam. The leak was being kept under fairly easily, but the out- 
look was bad. Heavy pressure-ridges were forming in all direc- 
tions, and though the immediate pressure upon the ship was not 
severe, I realized that the respite would not be prolonged. The 
pack within our range of vision was being subjected to enormous 
compression, such as might be caused by cyclonic winds, opposing 
ocean currents, or constriction in a channel of some description. 
The pressure-ridges, massive and threatening, testified to the over- 
whelming nature of the forces that were at work. Huge blocks 
of ice, weighing many tons, were lifted into the air and tossed 
aside as other masses rose beneath them. We were helpless in- 
truders in a strange world, our lives dependent upon the play of 
grim elementary forces that made a mock of our puny efforts. I 
scarcely dared hope now that the Endurance would live, and 
throughout that anxious day I reviewed again the plans made 
long before for the sledging journey that we must make in the 
event of our having to take to the ice. We were ready, as far as 



■43"=) 



74 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

forethought could make us, for every contingency. Stores, dogs 
sledges, and equipment were ready to be moved from the ship at 
a moment's notice. 

The following day brought bright clear weather, with a blue 
sky. The sunshine was inspiriting. The roar of pressure could 
be heard all around us. New ridges were rising, and I could 
see as the day wore on that the lines of major disturbance were 
drawing nearer to the ship. The Endurance suffered some strains 
at intervals. Listening below, I could hear the creaking and 
groaning of her timbers, the pistol-like cracks that told of the 
starting of a trenail or plank, and the faint, indefinable whispers 
of our ship's distress. Overhead the sun shone serenely; occa- 
sional fleecy clouds drifted before the southerly breeze, and the 
light glinted and sparkled on the million facets of the new pres- 
sure-ridges. The day passed slowly. At 1 p.m. very heavy pres- 
sure developed, with twisting strains that racked the ship fore and 
aft. The butts of planking were opened four and five inches on 
the starboard side, and at the same time we could see from the 
bridge that the ship was bending like a bow under titanic pressure. 
Almost like a living creature, she resisted the forces that would 
crush her; but it was a one-sided battle. Millions of tons of ice 
pressed inexorably upon the little ship that had dared the challenge 
of the Antarctic. The Endurance was now leaking badly, and at 
9 p.m. I gave the order to lower boats, gear, provisions, and sledges 
to the floe, and move them to the flat ice a little way from the ship. 
The working of the ice closed the leaks slightly at midnight, but 
all hands were pumping all night. A strange occurrence was the 
sudden appearance of eight emperor penguins from a crack 100 
yds. away at the moment when the pressure upon the ship was at 
its climax. They walked a little way towards us, halted, and 
after a few ordinary calls proceeded to utter weird cries that 
sounded like a dirge for the ship. None of us had ever before 
heard the emperors utter any other than the most simple calls or 
cries, and the effect of this concerted effort was almost startling. 

Then came a fateful day — Wednesday, October 27. The posi- 
tion was lat. 69° 5' S., long. 51° 30' W, The temperature was 



LOSS OF THE ENDURANCE Y5 

— 8-5° Fahr., a gentle southerly breeze was blowing and the sun 
shone in a clear sky. " After long months of ceaseless anxiety 
and strain, after times when hope beat high and times when the 
outlook was black indeed, the end of the Endurance has come. 
But though we have been compelled to abandon the ship, which 
is crushed beyond all hope of ever being righted, we are alive 
and well, and we have stores and equipment for the task that lies 
before us. The task is to reach land with all the members of the 
Expedition. It is hard to write what I feel. To a sailor his 
ship is more than a floating home, and in the Endurance I had 
centred ambitions, hopes, and desires. Now, straining and groan- 
ing, her timbers cracking and her wounds gaping, she is slowly 
giving up her sentient life at the very outset of her career. She 
is crushed and abandoned after drifting more than 570 miles 
in a north-westerly direction during the 281 days since she be- 
came locked in the ice. The distance from the point where she 
became beset to the place where she now rests mortally hurt in the 
grip of the floes is 5Y3 miles, but the total drift through all ob- 
served positions has been 1186 miles, and probably we actually 
covered more than 1500 miles. We are now 346 miles from 
Paulet Island, the nearest point where there is any possibility of 
finding food and shelter. A small hut built there by the Swedish 
expedition in 1902 is filled with stores left by the Argentine relief 
ship. I know all about those stores, for I purchased.them in Lon- 
don on behalf of the Argentine Government when they asked me 
to equip the relief expedition. The distance to the nearest bar- 
rier west of us is about 180 miles, but a party going there would 
still be about 360 miles from Paulet Island and there would be 
no means of sustaining life on the barrier. We could not take 
from here food enough for the whole journey; the weight would 
be too great. 

" This morning, our last on the ship, the weather was clear, witK 
a gentle south-south-easterly to south-south-westerly breeze. From 
the crow's-nest there was no sign of land of any sort. The pres- 
sure was increasing steadily, and the passing hours brought no 
relief or respite for the ship. The attack of the ice reached its 



76 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

climax at 4 p.m. The ship was hove stern up by the pressure, and 
the driving floe, moving laterally across the stern, split the rudder 
and tore out the rudder-post and stem-post. Then, while we 
watched, the ice loosened and the Endurance sank a little. The 
decks were breaking upwards and the water was pouring in below. 
Again the pressure began, and at 5 p.m. I ordered all hands on to 
the ice. The twisting, grinding floes were working their will at 
last on the ship. It was a sickening sensation to feel the decks 
breaking up under one's feet, the great beams bending and then 
snapping with a noise like heavy gunfire. The water was ow&c- 
mastering the pumps, and so to avoid an explosion when it reached 
the boilers I had to give orders for the fires to be drawn and the 
steam let down. The plans for abandoning the ship in case of 
emergency had been made well in advance, and men and dogs 
descended to the floe and made their way to the .comparative safety 
of an unbroken portion of the floe without a hitch. Just before 
leaving, I looked down the engine-room skylight as I stood on the 
quivering deck, and saw the engines dropping sideways as the 
stays and bed-plates gave way. I cannot describe the impression 
of relentless destruction that was forced upon me as I looked down 
and around. The floes, with the force of millions of tons of mov- 
ing ice behind them, were simply annihilating the ship." 

Essential supplies had been placed on the floe about 100 yds. 
from the ship, and there we set about making a camp for the 
night. But about 7 p.m., after the tents were up, the ice we 
were occupying became involved in the pressure and started to 
split and smash beneath our feet. I had the camp moved to a 
bigger floe about 200 yds. away, just beyond the bow of the ship. 
Boats, stores, and camp equipment had to be conveyed across a 
working pressure-ridge. The movement of the ice was so slow 
that it did not interfere much with our short trek, but the weight 
of the ridge had caused the floes to sink on either side and there 
were pools of water there. A pioneer party with picks and 
shovels had to build a snow-causeway before we could get all our 
possessions across. By 8 p.m. the camp had been pitched again. 
We had two pole-tents and three hoop-tents. I took charge of the 




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Photmiiuiih bu F. Hurley 



THE END 



LOSS OF THE ENDURANCE Y7 

small pole-tent, No. 1, with Hudson, Hurley, and James as com- 
panions ; Wild had the small hoop-tent, No. 2, with Wordie, Mc- 
Neish, and Mcllroy. These hoop-tents are very easily shifted and 
set up. The eight forward hands had the large hoop-tent, ISTo. 3 ; 
Orean had charge of No. 4 hoop-tent with Hussey, Marston, and 
Cheetham, and Worsley had the other pole-tent, No. 5, with Green- 
street, Lees, Clark, Kerr, Eickenson, Macklin, and Blackboro, the 
last-named being the youngest of the forward hands. 

" To-night the temperature has dropped to — 16° Fahr., and 
most of the men are cold and uncomfortable. After the tents 
had been pitched I mustered all hands and explained the posi- 
tion to them briefly and, I hope, clearly. I have told them the 
distance to the barrier and the distance to Paulet Island, and have 
stated that I propose to try to march with equipment across the 
ice in the direction of Paulet Island. I thanked the men for the 
steadiness and good morale they have shown in these trying cir- 
cumstances, and told them I had no doubt that, provided they con- 
tinued to work their utmost and to trust me, we will all reach 
safety in the end. Then we had supper, which the cook had pre- 
pared at the big blubber stove, and after a watch had been set 
all hands except the watch turned in." For myself, I could not 
sleep. The destruction and abandonment of the ship was no sud- 
den shock. The disaster had been looming ahead for many 
months, and I had studied my plans for all contingencies a hun- 
dred times. But the thoughts that came to me as I walked up 
and down in the darkness were not particularly cheerful. The 
task now was to secure the safety of the party, and to that I must 
bend my energies and mental power and apply every bit of 
knowledge that experience of the Antarctic had given me. The 
task was likely to be long and strenuous, and an ordered mind and 
a clear programme were essential if we were to come through 
without loss of life. A man must shape himself to a new mark 
directly the old one goes to ground. 

At midnight I was pacing the ice, listening to the grinding floe 
and to the groans and crashes that told of the death-agony of the 
Endurance, when I noticed suddenly a crack running across our 



78 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

floe right through the camp. The alarm-whistle brought all hands 
tumbling out, and we moved the tents and stores lying on what 
was now the smaller' portion of the floe to the larger portion. 
Nothing more could be done at that moment, and the men turned 
in again ; but there was little sleep. Each time I came to the end 
of my beat on the floe I could just see in the darkness the uprearing 
piles of pressure-ice, which toppled over and narrowed still further 
the little floating island we occupied. I did not notice at the time 
that my tent, which had been on the wrong side of the crack, had 
not been erected again. Hudson and James had managed to 
squeeze themselves into other tents, and Hurley had wrapped him- 
self in the canvas of ISTo. 1 tent. I discovered this about 5 a.m. 
All night long the electric light gleamed from the stern of the dying 
Endurance. Hussey had left this light switched on when he took 
a last observation, and, like a lamp in a cottage window, it braved 
the night until in the early morning the Endurance received a 
particularly violent squeeze. There was a sound of rending beams 
and the light disappeared. The connection had been cut. 

Morning came in chill and cheerless. All hands were stiff and 
weary after their first disturbed night on the floe. Just at day- 
break I went over to the Endurance with Wild and Hurley, in 
order to retrieve some tins of petrol that could be used to boil up 
milk for the rest of the men. The ship presented a painful spec- 
tacle of chaos and wreck. The jibboom and bowsprit had snapped 
off during the night and now lay at right angles to the ship, with 
the chains, martingale, and bobstay dragging them as the vessel 
quivered and moved in the grinding pack. The ice had driven 
over the forecastle and she was well down by the head. We 
secured two tins of petrol with some difficulty, and postponed the 
further examination of the ship until after breakfast. Jumping 
across cracks with the tins, we soon reached camp, and built a fire- 
place out of the triangular water-tight tanks we had ripped from 
the lifeboat. This we had done in order to make more room. 
Then we pierced a petrol-tin in half a dozen places with an ice-axe 
and set fire to it. The petrol blazed fiercely under the five-gallon 
drum we used as a cooker, and the hot milk was ready in quick 



LOSS OF THE ENDUE AN CE 79 

time. Then we three ministering angels went round the tents with 
the life-giving drink, and were surprised and a trifle chagrined 
at the matter-of-fact manner in which some* of the men accepted 
this contribution to their comfort. They did not quite understand 
what work we had done for them in the early dawn, and I heard 
Wild say, " If any of you gentlemen would like your boots cleaned 
just put them outside ! " This was his gentle way of reminding 
them that a little thanks will go a long way on such occasions. 

The cook prepared breakfast, which consisted of biscuit and 
hoosh, at 8 a.m., and I then went over to the Endurance again and 
made a fuller examination of the wreck. Only six of the cabins 
had not been pierced by floes and blocks of ice. Every one of the 
starboard cabins had been crushed. The whole of the after part 
of the ship had been crushed concertina fashion. The forecastle 
and the Kitz were submerged, and the wardroom was three- 
quarters full of ice. The starboard side of the wardroom had 
come away. The motor-engine forward had been driven through 
the galley. Petrol-cases that had been stacked on the fore-deck 
had been driven by the floe through the wall into the wardroom 
and had carried before them a large picture. Curiously enough, 
the glass of this picture had not been cracked, whereas in the im- 
mediate neighbourhood I saw heavy iron davits that had been 
twisted and bent like the iron-work of a wrecked train. The ship 
was being crushed remorselessly. 

Under a dull, overcast sky I returned to camp and examined our 
situation. The floe occupied by the camp was still subject to 
pressure, and I thought it wise to move to a larger and apparently 
stranger floe about 200 yds. away, off the starboard bow of the 
ship. This camp was to become known as Dump Camp, owing 
to the amount of stuff that was thrown away there. We could not 
afford to carry unnecessary gear, and a drastic sorting of equip- 
ment took place. I decided to issue a complete new set of Bur- 
berrys and underclothing to each man, and also a supply of new 
socks. The camp was transferred to the larger floe quickly, and 
I began there to direct the preparations for the long journey across 
the floes to Paulet Island or Snow Hill. 



80 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Hurley meanwhile liad rigged his kinematograph-camera and 
was getting pictures of the Endurance in her death-throes. While 
he was engaged thus, the ice, driving against the standing rigging 
and the fore-, main-, and mizzen-masts, snapped the shrouds. The 
foretop and t'gallant-mast came down with a run and hung in 
wreckage on the fore-mast, with the fore-yard vertical. The main- 
mast followed immediately, snapping off about 10 ft. above the 
main deck. The crow's-nest fell within 10 ft. of where Hurley 
stood turning the handle of his camera, but he did not stop the 
machine, and so secured a unique, though sad, picture. 

The issue of clothing was quickly accomplished. Sleeping-bags 
were required also. We had eighteen fur bags, and it was neces- 
sary, therefore, to issue ten of the Jaeger woollen bags in order 
to provide for the twenty-eight men of the party. The woollen 
bags were lighter and less warm than the reindeer bags, and so 
each man who received one of them was allowed also a reindeer- 
skin to lie upon. It seemed fair to distribute the fur bags by lot, 
but some of us older hands did not join in the lottery. We thought 
we could do quite as well with the Jaegers as with the furs. With 
quick dispatch the clothing was apportioned, and then we turned 
one of the boats on its side and supported it with two broken oars 
to make a lee for the galley. The cook got the blubber-stove going, 
and a little later, when I was sitting round the corner of the stove, 
I heard one man say, " Cook, I like my tea strong." Another, 
joined in, " Cook, I like mine weak." It was pleasant to know that 
their minds were untroubled, but I thought the time opportune to 
mention that the tea would be the same for all hands and that we 
would be fortunate if two months later we had any tea at all. It 
occurred to me at the time that the incident had psychological in- 
terest. Here were men, their home crushed, the camp pitched on 
the unstable floes, and their chance of reaching safety apparently 
remote, calmly attending to the details of existence and giving their 
attention to such trifles as the strength of a brew of tea. 

During the afternoon the work continued. Every now and then 
we heard a noise like heavy guns or distant thunder, caused by the 
floes grinding together. " The pressure caused by the congestion 





Eh 




,.^' 



^' 




LOSS OF THE ENDURANCE 81 

in tliis area of the pack is producing a scene of absolute chaos. 
The floes grind stupendously, throw up great ridges, and shatter 
one another mercilessly. The ridges, or hedgerows, marking the 
pressure-lines that border the fast-diminishing pieces of smooth 
floe-ice, are enormous. The ice moves majestically, irresistibly. 
Human effort is not futile, but man fights against the giant 
forces of nature in a spirit of humility. One has a sense 
of dependence on the higher Power. To-day two seals, a Weddell 
and a crab-eater, came close to the camp and were shot. Four 
others were chased back into the water, for their presence disturbed 
the dog teams, and this meant floggings and trouble with the har- 
ness. The arrangement of the tents has been completed and their 
internal management settled. Each tent has a mess orderly, the 
duty being taken in turn on an alphabetical rota. The orderly 
takes the hoosh-pots of his tent to the galley, gets all the hoosh he 
is allowed, and, after the meal, cleans the vessels with snow and 
stores them in sledge or boat ready for a possible move." 

" October 29. — We passed a quiet night, although the pressure 
was grinding around us. Our floe is a heavy one and it withstood 
the blows it received. There is a light wind from the north-west 
to north-north-west, and the weather is fine. We are twenty-eight 
men with forty-nine dogs, including Sue's and Sallie's five grown- 
up pups. All hands this morning were busy preparing gear, 
fitting boats on sledges, and building up and strengthening the 
sledges to carry the boats. . . . The main motor-sledge, with a 
little fitting from the carpenter, carried our largest boat admirably. 
For the next boat four ordinary sledges were lashed together, but 
we were dubious as to the strength of this contrivance, and as a 
matter of fact it broke down quickly under strain. . . . The ship 
is still afloat, with the spurs of the pack driven through her and 
holding her up. The forecastle-head is under water, the decks are 
burst up by the pressure, the wreckage lies around in dismal con- 
fusion, but over all the blue ensign flies still. 

" This afternoon Sallie's three youngest pups, Sue's Sirius, and 
Mrs. Chippy, the carpenter's cat, have to be shot. We could not 
undertake the maintenance of weaklings under the new conditions. 



82 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Macklin, Crean, and the carpenter seemed to feel the loss of their 
friends rather badly. We propose making a short trial journey 
to-morrow, starting with two of the boats and the ten sledges. The 
number of dog teams has been increased to seven, Greenstreet tak- 
ing charge of the new additional team, consisting of Snapper and 
Sallie's four oldest pups. We have ten working sledges to relay 
with five teams. Wild's and Hurley's teams will haul the cutter 
with the assistance of four men. The whaler and the other boats 
will follow, and the men who are hauling them will be able to help 
with the cutter at the rough places. We cannot hope to make rapid 
progress, but each mile counts. Crean this afternoon has a bad 
attack of snow-blindness." 

The weather on the morning of October 30 was overcast and 
misty, with occasional falls of snow. A moderate north-easterly 
breeze was blowing. We were still living on extra food, brought 
from the ship when we abandoned her, and the sledging and boat- 
ing rations were intact. These rations would provide for twenty- 
eight, men for fifty-six days on full ration, but we could count on 
getting enough seal- and penguin-meat to at least double this time. 
We could even, if progress proved too diflicult and too injurious 
to the boats, which we must guard as our ultimate means of salva- 
tion, camp on the nearest heavy floe, scour the neighbouring pack 
for penguins and seals, and await the outward drift of the pack to 
open and navigable water. " This plan would avoid the grave 
dangers we are now incurring of getting entangled in impassable 
pressure-ridges and possibly irretrievably damaging the boats, 
which are bound to suffer in rough ice ; it would also minimize the 
peril of the ice splitting under us, as it did twice during the night 
at our first camp. Yet I feel sure that it is the right thing to 
attempt a march, since if we can make five or seven miles a day 
to the north-west our chance of reaching safety in the months to 
come will be increased greatly. There is a psychological aspect to 
the question also. It will be much better for the men in general 
to feel that even though progress is slow, they are on their way to 
land, than it will be simply to sit down and wait for the tardy 
north-westerly drift to take us out of this cruel waste of ice. We 



LOSS OF THE ENDURANCE 83 

will make an attempt to move. The issue is beyond my power 
either to predict or to control." 

That afternoon Wild and I went out in the mist and snow to 
find a road to the north-east. After many devious turnings to 
avoid the heavier pressure-ridges, we pioneered a way for at least a 
mile and a half, and then returned by a rather better route to the 
camp. The pressure now was rapid in movement and our floe was 
suffering from the shakes and jerks of the ice. At 3 p.m., after 
lunch, we got under way, leaving Dump Camp a mass of debris. 
The order was that personal gear must not exceed two pounds per 
man, and this meant that nothing but bare necessaries was to be 
taken on the march. We could not afford to cumber ourselves 
with unnecessary weight. Holes had been dug in the snow for the 
reception of private letters and little personal trifles, the Lares and 
Penates of the members of the Expedition, and into the privacy of 
these white graves were consigned much of sentimental value and 
not a little of intrinsic worth. I rather grudged the two pounds 
allowance per man, owing to my keen anxiety to keep weight at a 
minimum, but some personal belongings could fairly be regarded 
as indispensable. The journey might be a long one, and there was 
a possibility of a winter in improvised quarters on an inhospitable 
coast 'at the other end. A man under such conditions needs some- 
thing to occupy his thoughts, some tangible memento of his home 
and people beyond the seas. So sovereigns were thrown away and 
photographs were kept. I tore the fly-leaf out of the Bible that 
Queen Alexandra had given to the ship, with her own writing in it, 
and also the wonderful page of Job containing the verse : 

Out of whose womb came the ice? 

And the hoary frost of Heaven, who hath gendered it ? 

The waters are hid as with a stone. 

And the face of the deep is frozen. 

The other Bible which Queen Alexandra had given for the use 
of the shore party was down below in the lower hold in one of the 
cases when the ship received her death-blow. Suitcases were 



84: CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

thrown away; these were retrieved later as material for making 
boots, and some of them, marked " solid leather," proved, to our 
disappointment, to contain a large percentage of cardboard. The 
manufacturer would have had difficulty in convincing us at the 
time that the deception was anything short of criminal. 

The pioneer sledge party, consisting of Wordie, Hussey, Hudson, 
and myself, carrying picks and shovels, started to break a road 
through the pressure-ridges for the sledges carrying the boats. 
The boats, with their gear and the sledges beneath them, weighed 
each more than a ton. The cutter was smaller than the whaler, 
but weighed more and was a much more strongly built boat. The 
whaler was mounted on the sledge part of the Girling tractor 
forward and two sledges amidships and aft. These sledges were 
strengthened with cross-timbers and shortened oars fore and aft. 
The cutter was mounted on the aero-sledge. The sledges were the 
point of weakness. It appeared almost hopeless to prevent them 
smashing under their heavy loads when travelling over rough 
pressure-ice which stretched ahead of us for probably 300 miles. 
After the pioneer sledge had started, the seven dog teams got off. 
They took their sledges forward for half a mile, then went back 
for the other sledges. Worsley took charge of the two boats, 
vsath fifteen men hauling, and these also had to be relayed. It 
was heavy work for dogs and men, but there were intervals of com- 
parative rest on the backward journey, after the first portion of 
the load had been taken forward. We passed over two opening 
cracks, through which killers were pushing their ugly snouts, and 
by 5 p.m. had covered a mile in a north-north-westerly direction. 
The condition of the ice ahead was chaotic, for since the morning 
increased pressure had developed and the pack was moving and 
crushing in all directions. So I gave the order to pitch camp 
for the night on flat ice, which, unfortunately, proved to be young 
and salty. The older pack was too rough and too deeply laden 
with snow to offer a suitable camping-ground. Although we had 
gained only one mile in a direct line, the necessary deviations 
made the distance travelled at least two miles, and the relays 







O 
O 



LOSS OF THE ENDUE ANCE 85 

brought the distance inarched up to six miles. Some of the dog 
teams had covered at least ten miles. I set the watch from 6 p.m. 
to 7 a.m., one hour for each man in each tent in rotation. 

During the night snow fell heavily, and the floor-cloths of the 
tents got wet through, as the temperature had risen to +25° Fahr. 
One of the things we hoped for in those days was a temperature in 
the neighbourhood of zero, for then the snow-surface would be 
hard, we would not be troubled by damp, and our gear would not 
become covered in soft snow. The killers were blowing all night, 
and a crack appeared about 20 ft. from the camp at 2 a.m. The 
ice below us was quite thin enough for the killers to break 
through if they took a fancy to do so, but there was no other 
camping-ground within our reach and we had to take the risk. 
When morning came the snow was falling so heavily that we could 
not see more than a few score yards ahead, and I decided not to 
strike camp. A path over the shattered floes would be hard 
to flnd, and to get the boats into a position of peril might be 
disastrous. Eickenson and Worsley started back for Dump Camp 
at 7 a.m. to get some wood and blubber for the fire, and an hour 
later we had hoosh, with one biscuit each. At 10 a.m. Hurley 
and Hudson left for the old camp in order to bring some additional 
dog-pemmican, since there were no seals to be found near us. 
Then, as the weather cleared, Worsley and I made a prospect to 
the west and tried to find a practicable road. A large floe offered 
a fairly good road for at least another mile to the north-west, and 
we went back prepared for another move. The weather cleared 
a little, and after lunch we struck camp. I took Eickenson, Kerr, 
Wordie, and Hudson as a break-down gang to pioneer a path 
among the pressure-ridges. Five dog teams followed. Wild's 
and Hurley's teams were hitched on to the cutter and they started 
off in splendid style. They needed to be helped only once ; indeed, 
fourteen dogs did as well or even better than eighteen men. The 
ice was moving beneath and around us as we worked towards the 
big floe, and where this floe met the smaller ones there was a mass 
of pressed-up ice, still in motion, with water between the ridges. 



86 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

But it is wonderful what a dozen men can do with picks and 
shovels. We could cut a road through a pressure-ridge about 14 
ft. high in ten minutes and leave a smooth, or comparatively 
smooth, path for the sledges and teams. 



OHAPTEE V 

OCBAJS' CAMP 

In spite of the wet, deep snow and the halts occasioned by thus 
having to cut our road through the pressure-ridges, we managed 
to march the best part of a mile towards our goal, though the relays 
and the deviations again made the actual distance travelled nearer 
six miles. As I could see that the men were all exhausted I gave 
the order to pitch the tents under the lee of the two boats, which 
afforded some slight protection from the wet snow now threatening 
to cover everything. While so engaged one of the sailors dis- 
covered a small pool of water, caused by the snow having thawed, 
on a sail which was lying in one of the boats. There was not 
much — just a sip each ; but, as one man wrote in his diary, " One 
has seen and tasted cleaner, but seldom more opportunely found 
water." 

INText day broke cold and still with the same wet snow, and in 
the clearing light I could see that with the present loose surface, 
and considering how little result we had to show for all our 
strenuous efforts of the past four days, it would be impossible to 
proceed for any great distance. Taking into account also the 
possibility of leads opening close to us, and so of our being able 
to row north-west to where we might find land, I decided to find 
a more solid floe and there camp until conditions were more 
favourable for us to make a second attempt to escape from our icy 
prison. To this end we moved our tents and all our gear to a thick, 
heavy old floe about one and a half miles from the wreck and there 
made our camp. We called this " Ocean Camp." It was with 
the utmost difiiculty that we shifted our two boats. The surface 
was terrible — like nothing that any of us had ever seen around us 
before. We were sinking at times up to our hips, and everywhere 

the snow was two feet deep. 

87 



88 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

I decided to conserve our valuable sledging rations, which would 
be so necessary for the inevitable boat journey, as much as pos- 
sible, and to subsist almost entirely on seals and penguins. 

A party was sent back to Dump Camp, near the ship, to collect 
as much clothing, tobacco, etc., as they could find. The heavy 
snow which had fallen in the last few days, combined with the 
thawing and consequent sinking of the surface, resulted in the 
total disappearance of a good many of the things left behind at 
this dump. The remainder of the men made themselves as com- 
fortable as possible under the circumstances at Ocean Camp. This 
floating lump of ice, about a mile square at first but later splitting 
into smaller and smaller fragments, was to be our home for nearly 
two months. During these two months we made frequent visits 
to the vicinity of the ship and retrieved much valuable clothing 
and food and some few articles of personal value which in our 
light-hearted optimism we had thought to leave miles behind us on 
our dash across the moving ice to safety. 

The collection of food was now the all-important consideration. 
As we were to subsist almost entirely on seals and penguins, which 
were to provide fuel as well as food, some form of blubber-stove 
was a necessity. This was eventually very ingeniously contrived 
from the ship's steel ash-shoot, as our first attempt with a large iron 
oil-drum did not prove eminently successful. We could only cook 
seal or penguin hooshes or stews on this stove, and so uncertain 
was its action that the food was either burnt or only partially 
cooked ; and, hungry though we were, half -raw seal-meat was not 
very appetizing. On one occasion a wonderful stew made from 
seal-meat, with two or three tins of Irish stew that had been salved 
from the ship, fell into the fire through the bottom of the oil-drum 
that we used as a saucepan becoming burnt out on account of the 
sudden intense heat of the fire below. We lunched that day on 
one biscuit and a quarter of a tin of bully-beef each, frozen hard. 

This new stove, which was to last us during our stay at Ocean 
Camp, was a great success. Two large holes were punched, with 
much labour and few tools, opposite one another at the wider, or 
top end of the shoot. Into one of these an oil-drum was fixed, to 



OCEAN CAMP 89 

be used as the fireplace, the other hole serving to hold our saucepan. 
Alongside this another hole was punched to enable two saucepans 
to be boiled at a time ; and farther along still a chimney made from 
biscuit-tins completed a very efficient, if not a very elegant, stove. 
Later on the cook found that he could bake a sort of flat bannock 
or scone on this stove, but he was seriously hampered for want of 
yeast or baking-powder. 

An attempt was next made to erect some sort of a galley to pro- 
tect the cook against the inclemencies of the weather. The party 
which I had sent back under Wild to the ship returned with, 
amongst other things, the wheel-house practically complete. This, 
with the addition of some sails and tarpaulins stretched on spars, 
made a very comfortable storehouse and galley. Pieces of plank- 
ing from the deck were lashed across some spars stuck upright 
into the snow, and this, with the ship's binnacle, formed an ex- 
cellent look-out from which to look for seals and penguins. On 
this platform, too, a mast was erected from which flew the King's 
flag and the Eoyal Clyde Yacht Club burgee. 

I made a strict inventory of all the food in our possession, 
weights being roughly determined with a simple balance made from 
a piece of wood and some string, the counter-weight being a 60-lb. 
box of provisions. 

The dog teams went off to the wreck early each morning under 
Wild, and the men made every effort to rescue as much as possible 
from the ship. This was an extremely difficult task as the whole 
of the deck forward was under a foot of water on the port side, 
and nearly three feet on the starboard side. However, they man- 
aged to collect large quantities of wood and ropes and some few 
cases of provisions. Although the galley was under water. Bake- 
well managed to secure three or four saucepans, which later proved 
invaluable acquisitions. Quite a number of boxes of flour, etc., 
had been stowed in a cabin in the hold, and these we had been 
unable to get out before we left the ship. Having, therefore, de- 
termined as nearly as possible that portion of the deck immediately 
above these cases, we proceeded to cut a hole with large ice-chisels 
through the 3-in. planking of which it was formed. As the ship 



90 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

at this spot was under 5 ft. of water and ice, it was not an easy 
job. However, we succeeded in making the hole sufficiently large 
to allow of some few cases to come floating up. These were 
greeted with great satisfaction, and later on, as we warmed to our 
work, other cases, whose upward progress was assisted with a boat- 
hook, were greeted with either cheers or groans according to 
whether they contained farinaceous food or merely luxuries such 
as jellies. Eor each man by now had a good idea of the calorific 
value and nutritive and sustaining qualities of the various foods. 
It had a personal interest for us all. In this way we added to 
our scanty stock between two and three tons of provisions, about 
half of which was farinaceous food, such as flour and peas, of 
which we were so short. This sounds a great deal, but at one 
pound per day it would only last twenty-eight men for three 
months. Previous to this I had reduced the food allowance to 
nine and a half ounces per man per day. Now, however, it could 
be increased, and " this afternoon, for the first time for ten days, 
we knew what it was to be really satisfied." 

I had the sledges packed in readiness with the special sledging 
rations in case of a sudden move, and with the other food, allowing 
also for prospective seals and penguins, I calculated a dietary to 
give the utmost possible variety and yet to use our precious stock 
of flour in the most economical manner. All seals and penguins 
that appeared anywhere within the vicinity of the camp were killed 
to provide food and fuel. The dog-pemmican we also added to our 
own larder, feeding the dogs on the seals which we caught, after re- 
moving such portions as were necessary for our own needs. We 
were rather short of crockery, but small pieces of venesta-wood 
served admirably as plates for seal-steaks ; stews and liquids of all 
sorts were served in the aluminium sledging-mugs, of which each 
man had one. Later on, jelly tins and biscuit-tin lids were 
pressed into service. 

Monotony in the meals, even considering the circumstances in 
which we found ourselves, was what I was striving to avoid, so our 
little stock of luxuries, such as fish-paste, tinned herrings, etc., 
was carefully husbanded and so distributed as to last as long as 







1^ '.S 






^ U! 



OCEAN CAMP 91 

possible. My efforts were not in vain, as one man states in his 
diary : " It must be admitted that we are feeding very well indeed, 
considering our position. Each meal consists of one course and a 
beverage. The dried vegetables, if any, all go into the same pot 
as the meat, and every dish is a sort of hash or stew, be it ham or 
seal-meat or half and half. The fact that we only have two pots 
available places restrictions upon the number of things that can be 
cooked at one time, but in spite of the limitation of facilities, we 
always seem to manage to get just enough. The milk-powder and 
sugar are necessarily boiled with the tea or cocoa. 

" We are, of course, very short of the farinaceous element in our 
diet, and consequently have a mild craving for more of it. Bread 
is out of the question, and as we are husbanding the remaining 
cases of our biscuits for our prospective boat journey, we are eking 
out the supply of flour by making bannocks, of which we have 
from three to four each day. These bannocks are made from flour, 
fat, water, salt, and a little baking-powder, the dough being rolled 
out into flat rounds and baked in about ten minutes on a hot sheet 
of iron over the fire. Each bannock weighs about one and a half 
to two ounces, and we are indeed lucky to be able to produce them." 

A few boxes of army biscuits soaked with sea-water were dis- 
tributed at one meal. They were iy. such a state that they would 
not have been looked at a second time under ordinary circum- 
stances, but to us on a floating lump of ice, over three hundred 
miles from land, and that quite hypothetical, and with the un- 
plumbed sea beneath us, they were luxuries indeed. Wild's tent 
made a pudding of theirs with some dripping. 

Although keeping in mind the necessity for strict economy with 
our scanty store of food, I knew how important it was to keep the 
men cheerful, and that the depression occasioned by our surround- 
ings and our precarious position could to some extent be alleviated 
by increasing the rations, at least until we were more accustomed 
to our new mode of life. That this was successful is shown in 
their diaries. " Day by day goes by, much the same as one 
another. We work; we talk; we eat. Ah, how we eat! "Eo 
longer on short rations, we are a trifle more exacting than we were 



92 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

when we first conunenced our ' simple life,' but by comparison with 
home standards we are positive barbarians, and our gastronomic 
rapacity knows no bounds. 

" AH is eaten that comes to each tent, and everything is most 
carefully and accurately divided into as many equal portions as 
there are men in the tent. One member then closes his eyes or 
turns his head away and calls out the names at random, as the cook 
for the day points to each portion, saying at the same time, 
' Whose ? ' 

" Partiality, however unintentional it may be, is thus entirely 
obviated and every one feels satisfied that all is fair, even though 
one may look a little enviously at the next man's helping which 
differs in some especially appreciated detail from one's own. We 
break the Tenth Commandment energetically, but as we are all 
in the same boat in this respect, no one says a word. We under- 
stand each other's feelings quite sympathetically. 

" It is just like school-days over again, and very jolly it is, too, 
for the time being ! " 

Later on, as the prospect of wintering in the pack became more 
apparent, the rations had to be considerably reduced. By that 
time, however, everybody had become more accustomed to the idea 
and took it quite as a matter of course. 

Our meals now consisted in the main of a fairly generous help- 
ing of seal or penguin, either boiled or fried. As one man wrote : 
" We are now having enough to eat, but not by any means too 
much, and every one is always hungry enough to eat every scrap 
he can get. Meals are invariably taken very seriously, and little 
talking is done till the hoosh is finished." 

Our tents made somewhat cramped quarters, especially during 
meal-times. " Living in a tent without any furniture requires a 
little getting used to. For our meals we have to sit on the floor, 
and it is surprising how awkward it is to eat in such a position ; it 
is better by far to kneel and sit back on one's heels, as do the 
Japanese." Each man took it in turn to be the tent " cook " for 
one day, and one writes : 

" The word ' cook ' is at present rather a misnomer, for whilst 



OCEAN CAMP 93 

we have a permanent galley no cooking need be done in the 
tent. 

"Keally, all that the tent-cook has to do is to take his two hoosh- 
pots over to the galley and convey the hoosh and the beverage to the 
tent, clearing up after each meal and washing up the two pots and 
the mugs. There are no spoons, etc., to wash, for we each keep our 
own spoon and pocket-knife in our pockets. We just lick them 
as clean as possible and replace them in our pockets after each 
meal. 

" Our spoons are one of our indispensable possessions here. To 
lose one's spoon would be almost as serious as it is for an edentate 
person to lose his set of false teeth." 

During all this time the supply of seals and penguins, if not 
inexhaustible, was always sufficient for our needs. 

Seal- and penguin-hunting was our daily occupation, and parties 
were sent out in different directions to search among the hum- 
mocks and the pressure-ridges for them. When one was found a 
signal was hoisted, usually in the form of a scarf or a sock on a 
pole, and an answering signal was hoisted at the camp. 

Then Wild went out with a dog team to shoot and bring in the 
game. To feed ourselves and the dogs, at least one seal a day 
was required. The seals were mostly crab-eaters, and emperor 
penguins were the general rule. On November 5, however, an 
adelie was caught, and this was the cause of much discussion, as 
the following extract shows : " The man on watch from 3 a.m. to 4 
a.m. caught an adelie penguin. This is the first of its kind that 
we have seen since January last, and it may mean a lot. It may 
signify that there is land somewhere near us, or else that great leads 
are opening up, but it is impossible to form more than a mere 
conjecture at present." 

No skuas, Antarctic petrels, or sea-leopards were seen during our 
two months' stay at Ocean Camp. 

In addition to the daily hunt for food, our time was passed 
in reading the few books that we had mauaged to save from the 
ship. The greatest treasure in the library was a portion of the 
Encyclopaedia Britannica. This was being continually used to 



94 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

settle the inevitable arguments tliat would arise. The sailors 
were discovered one day engaged in a very heated discussion on 
the subject of Money and Exchange. They finally came to the 
conclusion that the Encyclopsedia, since it did not coincide with 
their views, must be wrong. 

" For descriptions of every American town that ever has been, 
is, or ever will be, and for full and complete biographies of every 
American statesman since the time of George Washington and 
long before, the Encyclopaedia would be hard to beat. Owing 
to our shortage of matches we have been driven to use it for pur- 
poses other than the purely literary ones, though ; and one genius 
having discovered that the paper used for its pages had been im- 
pregnated with saltpetre, we can now thoroughly recommend it as a 
very efEcient pipe-lighter." 

We also possessed a few books on Antarctic exploration, a copy 
of Browning, and one of " The Ancient Mariner." On reading 
the latter, we sympathized with him and wondered what he had 
done with the albatross ; it would have made a very welcome ad- 
dition to our larder. 

The two subjects of most interest to us were our rate of drift 
and the weather. Worsley took observations of the sun whenever 
possible, and his results showed conclusively that the drift of our 
floe was almost entirely dependent upon the winds and not much 
affected by currents. Our hope, of course, was to drift north- 
wards to the edge of the pack and then, when the ice was loose 
enough, to take to the boats and row to the nearest land. We 
started off in fine style, drifting north about twenty miles in two or 
three days in a howling south-westerly blizzard. Gradually, how- 
ever, we slowed up, as successive observations showed, until we 
began to drift back to the south. An increasing north-easterly 
wind, which commenced on November 7 and lasted for twelve days, 
damped our spirits for a time, until we found that we had only 
drifted back to the south three miles, so that we were now 
seventeen miles to the good. This tended to reassure us in our 
theories that the ice of the Weddell Sea was drifting round in a 
clockwise direction, and that if we could stay on our piece long 



OCEAN CAMP 95 

enough we must eventually be taken up to the north, where lay the 
open sea and the path to comparative safety. 

The ice was not moving fast enough to be noticeable. In fact, 
the only way in which we could prove that we were moving at all 
was by noting the change of relative positions of the bergs around 
us, and, more definitely, by fixing our absolute latitude and longi- 
tude by observations of the sun. Otherwise, as far as actual visible 
drift was concerned, we might have been on dry land. 

For the next few days we made good progress, drifting seven 
miles to the north on ISTovember 24 and another seven miles in 
the next, forty-eight hours. We were all very pleased to know that 
although the wind was mainly south-west all this time, yet we had 
made very little easting. The land lay to the west, so had we 
drifted to the east we should have been taken right away to the 
centre of the entrance to the Weddell Sea, and our chances of 
finally reaching land would have been considerably lessened. 

Our average rate of drift was slow, and many and varied were 
the calculations as to when we should reach the pack-edge. On 
December 12, 1915, one man wrote: " Once across the Antarctic 
Circle, it will seem as if we are practically half-way home again ; 
and it is just possible that with favourable winds we may cross 
the circle before the New Year. A drift of only three miles a day 
would do it, and we have often done that and more for periods of 
three or four weeks. 

" We are now only 250 miles from Paulet Island, but too much 
to the east of it. We are approaching the latitudes in which we 
were at this time last year, on our way down. The ship left South 
Georgia just a year and a week ago, and reached this latitude four 
or five miles to the eastward of our present position on January 3, 
1915, crossing the circle on New Year's Eve." 

Thus, after a year's incessant battle with the ice, we had re- 
turned, by many strange turns of fortune's wheel, to almost iden- 
tically the same latitude that we had left with such high hopes and 
aspirations twelve months previously; but under what different 
conditions now! Our ship crushed and lost, and we ourselves 
drifting on a piece of ice at the mercy of the winds. However, in 



96 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

spite of occasional set-backs due to unfavourable winds, our drift 
was in the main very satisfactory, and this went a long way towards 
keeping the men cheerful. 

As the drift was mostly affected by the winds, the weather was 
closely watched by all, and Hussey, the meteorologist, was called 
upon to make forecasts every four hours, and some times more 
frequently than that. A meteorological screen containing ther- 
mometers and a barograph had been erected on a post frozen into 
the ice, and observations were taken every four hours. When we 
first left the ship the weather was cold and miserable, and alto- 
gether as unpropitious as it could possibly have been for our at- 
tempted march. Our first few days at Ocean Camp were passed 
under much the same conditions. At nights the temperature 
dropped to zero, with blinding snow and drift. One-hour watches 
were instituted, all hands taking their turn, and in such weather 
this job was no sinecure. The watchman had to be continually on 
the alert for cracks in the ice, or any sudden changes in the ice con- 
ditions, and also had to keep his eye on the dogs, who often became 
restless, fretful, and quarrelsome in the early hours of the morn- 
ing. At the end of his hour he was very glad to crawl back into 
the comparative warmth of his frozen sleeping-bag. 

On November 6 a dull, overcast day developed into a howling 
blizzard from the south-west, with snow and low drift. Only 
those who were compelled left the shelter of their tent. Deep 
drifts formed everywhere, burying sledges and provisions to a 
depth of two feet, and the snow piling up round the tents 
threatened to burst the thin fabric. The fine drift found its way 
in through the ventilator of the tent, which was accordingly 
plugged up with a spare sock. 

This lasted for two days, when one man wrote : " The blizzard 
continued through the morning, but cleared towards noon, and 
it was a beautiful evening; but we would far rather have the 
screeching blizzard with its searching drift and cold, damp wind, 
for we drifted about eleven miles to the north during the night." 

For four days the fine weather continued, with gloriously warm 
bright sun, but cold when standing still or in the shade. The 



OCEAN CAMP 97 

temperature usually dropped below zero, but every opportunity 
was taken during these fine, sunny days to partially dry our sleep- 
ing-bags and other gear, which had become sodden, through our 
body-heat having thawed the snow which had drifted in on to 
them during the blizzard. The bright sun seemed to put new 
heart into all. 

The next day brought a north-easterly wind with the very high 
temperature of 27° Eahr. — only 5° below freezing. "These 
high temperatures do not always represent the warmth which 
might be assumed from the thermometrical readings. They 
usually bring dull, overcast skies, with a raw, muggy, moisture- 
laden wind. The winds from the south, though colder, are nearly 
always coincident with sunny days and clear blue skies." 

The temperature still continued to rise, reaching 33° Fahr. on 
E'ovember 14. The thaw consequent upon these high tempera- 
tures was having a disastrous effect upon the surface of our camp. 
" The surface is awful ! — not slushy, but elusive. You step out 
gingerly. All is well for a few paces, then your foot suddenly 
sinks a couple of feet until it comes to a hard layer. You wade 
along in this way step by step, like a mudlark at Portsmouth Hard, 
hoping gradually to regain the surface. Soon you do, only to re- 
peat the exasperating performance ad lih., to the accompaniment 
of all the expletives that you can bring to bear on the subject. 
What actually happens is that the warm air melts the surface 
sufficiently to cause drops of water to trickle down slightly, where, 
on meeting colder layers of snow, they freeze again, forming a 
honeycomb of icy nodules, instead of the soft, powdery, granular 
snow that we are accustomed to." 

These high temperatures persisted for some days, and when, 
as occasionally happened, the sky was clear and the sun was shin- 
ing it was unbearably hot. Pive men who were sent to fetch some 
gear from the vicinity of the ship with a sledge marched in noth- 
ing but trousers and singlet, and even then were very hot ; in fact 
they were afraid of getting sunstroke, so let down flaps from their 
caps to cover their necks. Their sleeves were rolled up over their 
elbows, and their arms were red and sunburnt in consequence. 



98 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

The temperature on this occasion was 26° Fahr., or 6° below 
freezing. Eor five or six days more the sun continued, and most 
of our clothes and sleeping-bags were now comparatively dry. A 
wretched day with rainy sleet set in on November 21, but one 
could put up with this discomfort as the wind was now from the 
south. 

The wind veered later to the west, and the sun came out at 9 
p.m. For at this time, near the end of IsTovember, we had the 
midnight sun. " A thrice-blessed southerly wind " soon arrived 
to cheer us all, occasioning the following remarks in one of the 
diaries : " To-day is the most beautiful day we have had in the 
Antarctic — a clear sky, a gentle, warm breeze from the south, and 
the most brilliant sunshine." We all took advantage of it to strike 
tents, clean out and generally dry and air ground-sheets and 
sleeping-bags. 

I was up early — 4 a.m. — to keep watch, and the sight was 
indeed magnificent. Spread out before one was an extensive 
panorama of ice-fields, intersected here and there by small broken 
leads, and dotted with numerous noble bergs, partly bathed in 
sunshine and partly tinged with the grey shadows of an over- 
cast sky. 

As one watched one observed a distinct line of demarcation be- 
tween the sunshine and the shade, and this line gradually ap- 
proached nearer and nearer, lighting up the hummocky relief of 
the ice-field bit by bit, until at last it reached us, and threw the 
whole camp into a blaze of glorious sunshine which lasted nearly 
all day. 

" This afternoon we were treated to one or two showers of hail- 
like snow. Yesterday we also had a rare form of snow, or, rather, 
precipitation of ice-spicules, exactly like little hairs, about a third 
of an inch long. 

" The warmth in the tents at lunch-time was so great that we 
had all the side-flaps up for ventilation, but it is a treat to get warm 
occasionally, and one can put up with a little stuffy atmosphere now 
and again for the sake of it. The wind has gone to the best quarter 
this evening, the south-east, and is freshening." 



OCEAN CAMP 99 

On these fine, clear, sunny days wonderful mirage effects could 
be observed, just as occur over the desert. Huge bergs were ap- 
parently resting on nothing, with a distinct gap between their bases 
and the horizon; others were curiously distorted into all sorts of 
weird and fantastic shapes, appearing to be many times their 
proper height. Added to this, the pure glistening white of the 
snow and ice made a picture which it is impossible adequately 
to describe. 

Later on, the freshening south-westerly wind brought mild 
overcast weather, probably due to the opening up of the pack in 
that direction. 

I had already made arrangements for a quick move in case 
of a sudden break-up of the ice. Emergency orders were issued ; 
each man had his post allotted and his duty detailed ; and the whole 
was so organized that in less than five minutes from the sounding 
of the alarm on my whistle, tents were struck, gear and provisions 
packed, and the whole party was ready to move off. I now took 
a final survey of the men to note their condition both mental and 
physical. Eor our time at Ocean Camp had not been one of un- 
alloyed bliss. The loss of the ship meant more to us than we 
could ever put into words. After we had settled at Ocean Camp 
she still remained nipped by the ice, only her stern showing and 
her bows over-ridden and buried by the relentless pack. The 
tangled mass of ropes, rigging, and spars made the scene even 
more desolate and depressing. 

It was with a feeling almost of relief that the end came. 
"' November 21, 1915. — This evening, as we were lying in our 
tents we heard the boss call out, ' She's going, boys ! ' We were 
out in a second and up on the look-out station and other points of 
vantage, and, sure enough, there was our poor ship a mile and a 
half away struggling in her death-agony. She went down bows 
first, her stern raised in the air. She then gave one quick dive 
and the ice closed over her for ever. It gave one a sickening sensa- 
tion to see it, for, mastless and useless as she was, she seemed to be 
a link with the outer world. Without her our destitution seems 
more emphasized, our desolation more complete. The loss of the 



100 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

ship sent a slight wave of depression over the camp. No one 
said much, but we cannot be blamed for feeling it in a sentimental 
way. It seemed as if the moment of severance from many 
cherished associations, many happy moments, even stirring in- 
cidents, had come as she silently up-ended to find a last resting- 
place beneath the ice on which we now stand. When one knows 
every little nook and corner of one's ship as we did, and has 
helped her time and again in the fight that she made so well, the 
actual parting was not without its pathos, quite apart from one's 
own desolation, and I doubt if there was one amongst us who did 
not feel some personal emotion when Sir Ernest, riding on the top 
of the look-out, said somewhat sadly and quietly, ' She's gone, 
boys.' 

" It must, however, be said that we did not give way to de- 
pression for long, for soon every one was as cheery as usual. 
Laughter rang out from the tents, and even the boss had a passage- 
at-arms with the storekeeper over the inadequacy of the sausage 
ration, insisting that there should be two each ' because they were 
such little ones,' instead of the one and a half that the latter 
proposed." 

The psychological effect of a slight increase in the rations soon 
neutralized any tendency to down-heartedness, but with the high 
temperatures surface-thaw set in, and our bags and clothes were 
soaked and sodden. Our boots squelched as we walked, and we 
lived in a state of perpetual wet feet. At nights, before the tem- 
perature had fallen, clouds of steam could be seen rising from our 
soaking bags and boots. During the night, as it grew colder, this 
all condensed as rime on the inside of the tent, and showered 
down upon us if one happened to touch the side inadvertently. 
One had to be careful how one walked, too, as often only a thin 
crust of ice and snow covered a hole in the floe, through which 
many an unwary member went in up to his waist. These per- 
petual soakings, however, seemed to have had little lasting effect, 
or perhaps it was not apparent owing to the excitement of the 
prospect of an early release. 

A north-westerly wind on December 7 and 8 retarded our prog- 







Q 
■< 

W 

a 
a; 



OCEAlSr CAMP 101 

ress somewhat, but I had reason to believe that it would help to 
open the ice and form leads through which we might escape to 
open water. So I ordered a practice launching of the boats and 
stowage of food and stores in them. This was very satisfactory. 
We cut a slipway from our floe into a lead which ran alongside, 
and the boats took the water " like a bird," as one sailor remarked. 
Our hopes were high in anticipation of an early release. A 
blizzard sprang up, increasing the next day and burying tents and 
packing-cases in the drift. On December 12 it had moderated 
somewhat and veered to the south-east, and the next day the 
blizzard had ceased, but a good steady wind from south and south- 
west continued to blow us north. 

" December 15, 1915. — The continuance of southerly winds is 
exceeding our best hopes, and raising our spirits in proportion. 
Prospects could not be brighter than they are just now. The 
environs of our floe are continually changing. Some days we 
are almost surrounded by small open leads, preventing us from 
crossing over to the adjacent floes." After two more days our 
fortune changed, and a strong north-easterly wind brought " a 
beastly cold, windy day " and drove us back three and a quarter 
miles. Soon, however, the wind once more veered to the south 
and south-west. These high temperatures, combined with the 
strong changeable winds that we had had of late, led me to conclude 
that the ice all around us was rotting and breaking up and that the 
moment of our deliverance from the icy maw of the Antarctic 
was at hand. 

On December 20, after discussing the question with Wild, I 
informed all hands that I intended to try and make a march to 
the west to reduce the distance between us and Paulet Island. A 
buzz of pleasurable anticipation went round the camp, and every 
one was anxious to get on the move. So the next day I set off 
with Wild, Orean, and Hurley, with dog teams, to the westward 
to survey the route. After travelling about seven miles we 
mounted a small berg, and there as far as we could see stretched 
a series of immense flat floes from half a mile to a mile across, 
separated from each other by pressure-ridges which seemed easily 



102 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

negotiable with pick and shovel. The only place that appeared 
likely to be formidable was a very much cracked-up area between 
the old floe that we were on and the first of the series of young 
flat floes about half a mile away. 

December 22 was therefore kept as Christmas Day, and most 
of our small remaining stock of luxuries was consumed at the 
Christmas feast. We could not carry it all with us, so for the 
last time for eight months we had a really good meal — as much as 
we could eat. Anchovies in oil, baked beans, and jugged hare 
made a glorious mixture such as we have not dreamed of since our 
school-days. Everybody was working at high pressure, packing 
and re-packing sledges and stowing what provisions we were going 
to take with us in the various sacks and boxes. As I looked round 
at the eager faces of the men I could not but hope that this time 
the fates would be kinder to us than in our last attempt to march 
across the ice to safety. 



OHAPTEE VI 

THE MAECH BETWEEN" 

With the exception of the night-watchman we turned in at 11 
p.m., and at 3 a.m. on December 23 all hands were roused for the 
purpose of sledging the two boats, the James Oaird and the Dudley 
Docker, over the dangerously cracked portion to the first of the 
young floes, whilst the surface still held its night crust. A thick 
sea-fog came up from the west, so we started off finally at 4.30 a.m. 
after a drink of hot coffee. 

Practically all hands had to be harnessed to each boat in suc- 
cession, and by dint of much careful manipulation and tortuous 
courses amongst the broken ice we got both safely over the 
danger-zone. 

We then returned to Ocean Camp for the tents and the rest of 
the sledges, and pitched camp by the boats about one and a quarter 
miles off. On the way back a big seal wa,s caught which provided 
fresh food for ourselves and for the dogs. On arrival at the camp 
a supper of cold tinned mutton and tea was served, and everybody 
turned in at 2 p.m. It was my intention to sleep by day and 
march by night, so as to take advantage of the slightly lower tem- 
peratures and consequent harder surfaces. 

At 8 p.m. the men were roused, and after a meal of cold mutton 
and tea, the march was resumed. A large open lead brought us 
to a halt at 11 p.m., whereupon we camped and turned in without a 
meal. Fortunately, just at this time the weather was fine and 
warm. Several men slept out in the open at the beginning of the 
march. One night, however, a slight snow-shower came on, suc^ 
ceeded immediately by a lowering of the temperature. Worsley, 
who had hung up his trousers and socks on a boat, found them iced- 
up and stiff ; and it was quite a painful process for him to dress 

103 



104 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

quickly that morning. I was anxious, now that we had started, 
that we should make every effort to extricate ourselves, and this 
temporary check so early was rather annoying. So that afternoon 
Wild and I ski-ed out to the crack and found that it had closed 
up again. We marked out the track with small flags as we re- 
turned. Each day, after all hands had turned in. Wild and I 
would go ahead for two miles or so to reconnoitre the next day's 
route, marking it with pieces of wood, tins, and small flags. We 
had to pick the road which, though it might be somewhat devious, 
was flattest and had least hummocks. Pressure-ridges had to be 
skirted, and where this was not possible the best place to make a 
bridge of ice-blocks across the lead or over the ridge had to be 
found and marked. It was the duty of the dog-drivers to thus 
prepare the track for those who were toiling behind with the heavy 
boats. These boats were hauled in relays, about sixty yards at 
a time. I did not wish them to be separated by too great a 
distance in case the ice should crack between them, and we should 
be unable to reach the one that was in rear. Every twenty yards 
or so they had to stop for a rest and to take breath, and it was a 
welcome sight to them to see the canvas screen go up on some 
oars, which denoted the fact that the cook had started preparing a 
meal, and that a temporary halt, at any rate, was going to be 
made. Thus the ground had to be traversed three times by the 
boat-hauling party. The dog-sledges all made two, and some of 
them three, relays. The dogs were wonderful. Without them 
we could never have transported half the food and gear that we did. 

We turned in at 7 p.m. that night, and at 1 a.m. next day, the 
25th, and the third day of our march, a breakfast of sledging 
ration was served. By 2 a.m. we were on the march again. • We 
wished one another a merry Christmas, and our thoughts went back 
to those at home. We wondered, too, that day, as we sat down to 
our " lunch " of stale, thin bannock and a mug of thin cocoa, what 
they were having at home. 

All hands were very cheerful. The prospect of a relief from 
the monotony of life on the floe raised all our spirits. One man 
wrote in his diary : " It's a hard, rough, jolly life, this marching 



THE MARCH BETWEEN 105 

and camping; no washing of self or dishes, no undressing, no 
changing of clothes. We have onr food anyhow, and always 
impregnated with blubber-smoke; sleeping almost on the bare 
anow and working as hard as the human physique is capable of 
doing on a minimum of food." 

We marched on, with one halt at 6 a.m., till half-past eleven. 
After a supper of seal-steaks and tea we turned in. The surface 
now was pretty bad. High temperatures during the day made 
the upper layers of snow very soft, and the thin crust which formed 
at night was not sufficient to support a man. Consequently, at 
each step we went in over our knees in the soft wet snow. Some- 
times a man would step into a hole in the ice which was hidden by 
the covering of snow, and be pulled up with a jerk by his harness. 
The sun was very hot and many were suffering from cracked lips. 
Two seals were killed to-day. Wild and Mcllroy, who went out 
to secure them, had rather an exciting time on some very loose 
rotten ice, three killer-whales in a lead a few yards away poking 
up their ugly heads as if in anticipation of a feast. 

Next day, December 26, we started off again at 1 a.m. " The 
surface was much better than it has been for the last few days, 
and this is the principal thing that matters. The route, how- 
ever, lay over very hummocky floes, and required much work with 
pick and shovel to make it passable for the boat-sledges. These are 
handled in relays by eighteen men under Worsley. It is killing 
work on soft surfaces." 

At 5 a.m. we were brought up by a wide open lead after an 
unsatisfactorily short march. While we waited, a meal of tea and 
two small bannocks was served, but as 10 a.m. came and there were 
no signs of the lead closing we all turned in. 

It snowed a little during the day and those who were sleeping 
outside got their sleeping-bags pretty wet. 

At 9.30 p.m. that night we were off again. I was, as usual, 
pioneering in front, followed by the cook and his mate pulling a 
small sledge with the stove and all the cooking gear on. These 
two, black as two Mohawk Minstrels with the blubber-soot, were 
dubbed " Potash and Perlmutter." Next come the dog teams, who 



106 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

soon overtake the cook, and tlie two boats bring up tbe rear. Were 
it not for these cumbrous boats we should get along at a great rate, 
but we dare not abandon them on any account. As it is we left 
one boat, the Stancomb Wills, behind at Ocean Camp, and the re- 
maining two will barely accommodate the whole party when we 
leave the floe. 

We did a good march of one and a half miles that night before 
we halted for " lunch " at 1 a.m., and then on for another mile, 
when at 5 a.m. we camped by a little sloping berg. 

Blackie, one of Wild's dogs, fell lame and could neither pull nor 
keep up with the party even when relieved of his harness, so had 
to be shot. 

Nine p.m. that night, the 2'rth, saw us on the march again. The 
first 200 yds. took us about five hours to cross, owing to the amount 
of breaking down of pressure-ridges and filling in of leads that 
was required. The surface, too, was now very soft, so our progress 
was slow and tiring. We managed to get another three-quarters 
of a mile before lunch, and a further mile due west over a very 
hummocky floe before we camped at 5.30 a.m. Greenstreet and 
Macklin killed and brought in a huge Weddell seal weighing about 
800 lbs., and two emperor penguins made a welcome addition to our 
larder. 

I climbed a small tilted berg near by. The country immediately 
ahead was much broken up. Great open leads intersected the 
floes at all angles, and it all looked very unpromising. Wild and 
I went out prospecting as usual, but it seemed too broken to travel 
over. 

" December 29. — After a further reconnaissance the ice ahead 
proved quite un-negotiable, so at 8.30 p.m. last night, to the in- 
tense disappointment of all, instead of forging ahead, we had to 
retire half a mile so as to get on a stronger floe, and by 10 p.m. we 
had camped and all hands turned in again. The extra sleep was 
much needed, however disheartening the check may be." 

During the night a crack formed right across the floe, so we 
hurriedly shifted to a strong old floe about a mile and a half to 
the east of our present position. The ice all around us was now 





ll 



1. 



i 



^. 



'H 







iMtiM.^ykJik ^'' 



^<i 



THE MARCH BETWEEN 107 

too broken and soft to sledge over, and yet there was not sufficient 
open water to allow us to launch the boats with any degree of 
safety. We had been on the march for seven days; rations were 
short and the men were weak. They were worn out with the hard 
pulling over soft surfaces, and our stock of sledging food was 
very small. We had marched seven and a half miles in a direct 
line and at this rate it would take us over three hundred days to 
reach the land away to the west. As we only had food for forty- 
two days there was no alternative, therefore, but to camp once 
more on the floe and to possess our souls with what patience we 
could till conditions should appear more favourable for a renewal 
of the attempt to escape. To this end, we stacked our surplus 
provisions, the reserve sledging rations being kept lashed on the 
sledges, and brought what gear we could from- our but lately de- 
serted Ocean Camp. 

Our new home, which we were to occupy for nearly three and 
a half months, we called " Patience Camp." 



CHAPTER VII 

PATIEITCE CAMP 

The apathy which seemed to take possession of some of the men 
at the frustration of their hopes was soon dispelled. Parties were 
sent out daily in different directions to look for seals and penguins. 
We had left, other than reserve sledging rations, about 110 lbs. of 
pemmican, including the dog-pemmican, and 300 lbs. of flour. In 
addition there was a little tea, sugar, dried vegetables, and suet. I 
sent Hurley and Macklin to Ocean Camp to bring back the food 
that we had had to leave there. They returned with quite a good 
load, including 130 lbs. of dry milk, about 50 lbs. each of dog- 
pemmican and jam, and a few tins of potted meats. When they 
were about a mile and a half away their voices were quite audible 
to us at Ocean Camp, so still was the air. 

We were, of course, very short of the farinaceous element in 
our diet. The flour would last ten weeks. After that our sledg- 
ing rations would last us less than three months. Our meals 
had to consist mainly of seal and penguin; and though this was 
valuable as an anti-scorbutic, so much so that not a single case 
of scurvy occurred among the party, yet it was a badly adjusted 
diet, and we felt rather weak and enervated in consequence. 

" The cook deserves much praise for the way he has stuck to his 
job through all this severe blizzard. His galley consists of noth- 
ing but a few boxes arranged as a table, with a canvas screen 
erected around them on four oars and the two blubber-stoves 
within. The protection afforded by the screen is only partial, and 
the eddies drive the pungent blubber-smoke in all directions." 
After a few days we were able to build him an igloo of ice-blocks 
with a tarpaulin over the top as a roof. 

" Our rations are just suflScient to keep us alive, but we all feel 

108 



PATIENCE CAMP 109 

that we could eat twice as much as we get. An average day's 
food at present consists of % lb. of seal with % pint of tea for 
breakfast, a 4-oz. bannock with milk for lunch, and % pint of 
seal-stew for supper. That is barely enough, even doing very 
little work as we are, for of course we are completely destitute of 
bread or potatoes or anything of that sort. Some seem to feel it 
more than others and are continually talking of food ; but most of 
us find that the continual conversation about food only whets an 
appetite that cannot be satisfied. Our craving for bread and 
butter is very real, not because we cannot get it, but because the 
system feels the need of it." 

Owing to this shortage of food and the fact that we needed all 
that we could get for ourselves, I had to order all the dogs except 
two teams to be shot. It was the worst job that we had had 
throughout the Expedition, and we felt their loss keenly. 

I had to be continually rearranging the weekly menu. The 
possible number of permutations of seal-meat were decidedly 
limited. The fact that the men did not know what was coming 
gave them a sort of mental speculation, and the slightest variation 
was of great value. 

" We caught an adelie to-day (January 26) and another whale 
was seen at close quarters, but no seals. 

" We are now very short of blubber, and in consequence one stove 
has to be shut down. We only get one hot beverage a day, the 
tea at breakfast. For the rest we have iced water. Sometimes 
we are short even of this, so we take a few chips of ice in a tobacco- 
tin to bed with us. In the morning there is about a spoonful of 
water in the tin, and one has to lie very still all night so as not 
to spill it," 

To provide some variety in the food, I commenced to use the 
sledging ration at half strength twice a week. 

The ice between us and Ocean Camp, now only about five miles 
away and actually to the south-west of us, was very broken, but I 
decided to send Macklin and Hurley back with their dogs to see 
if there were any more food that could be added to our scanty 
stock. I gave them written instructions to take no undue risk or 



110 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

cross any wide-open leads, and said that they were to return by 
midday the next day. Although they both fell through the thin 
ice up to their waists more than once, they managed to reach the 
camp. They found the surface soft and sunk about two feet. 
Ocean Camp, they said, " looked like a village that had been razed 
to the ground and deserted by its inhabitants." The floor-boards 
forming the old tent-bottoms had prevented the sun from thawing 
the snow directly underneath them, and were in consequence raised 
about two feet above the level of the surrounding floe. 

The storehouse next the galley had taken on a list of several 
degrees to starboard, and pools of water had formed everywhere. 
They collected what food they could find and packed a few 
books in a venesta sledging-case, returning to Patience Camp by 
about 8 p.m. I was pleased at their quick return, and as their 
report seemed to show that the road was favourable, on February 
2 I sent back eighteen men under Wild to bring all the remainder 
of the food and the third boat, the Stancomb Wills. They started 
off at 1 a.m., towing the empty boat-sledge on which the James 
Caird had rested, and reached Ocean Camp about 3.30 a.m. 

" We stayed about three hours at the Camp, mounting the boat 
on the sledge, collecting eatables, clothing, and books. We left at 
6 a.m., arriving back at Patience Camp with the boat at 12.30 
p.m., taking exactly three times as long to return with the boat 
as it did to pull in the empty sledge to fetch it. On the return 
journey we had numerous halts while the pioneer party of four 
were busy breaking down pressure-ridges and filling in open cracks 
with ice-blocks, as the leads were opening up. The sun had 
softened the surface a good deal, and in places it was terribly hard 
pulling. Every one was a bit exhausted by the time we got back, 
as we are not now in good training and are on short rations. 
Every now and then the heavy sledge broke through the ice alto- 
gether and was practically afloat. We had an awful job to ex- 
tricate it, exhausted as we were. The longest distance which we 
managed to make without stopping for leads or pressure-ridges was 
about three-quarters of a mile. 

" About a mile from Patience Camp we had a welcome surprise. 






\ 





'■'*%^.. 



rinitn.jrnph bll F. Buiiey 
THE STOVE AT I'ATIKNI'E CAMP CDNSTRaCTEI) OUT () I-' oLIi lUL-DRUMS 

Seal Iphihliri' anil [>riit:uiri-skins wer-e used as 1ik-1 
Hurley f^huckleton 



PATIENCE CAMP 111 

Sir Ernest and Hussey sledged out to meet us with dixies of hot 
tea, well wrapped up to keep them warm. 

" One or two of the men left behind had cut a moderately good 
track for us into the camp, and they harnessed themselves up with 
us, and we got in in fine style. 

" One excellent result of our trip was the recovery of two cases 
of lentils weighing 42 lbs. each." 

The next day I sent Macklin and Crean back to make a further 
selection of the gear, but they found that several leads had opened 
up during the night, and they had to return when within a mile 
and a half of their destination. We were never able to reach 
Ocean Camp again. Still, there was very little left there that 
would have been of use to us. 

By the middle of February the blubber question was a serious 
one. I had all the discarded seals' heads and flippers dug up and 
stripped of every vestige of blubber. Meat was very short too. 
We still had our three months' supply of sledging food practically 
untouched; we were only to use this as a last resort. We had a 
small supply of dog-pemmican, the dogs that were left being fed 
on those parts of the seals that we could not use. This dog-pem- 
mican we fried in suet with a little flour and made excellent 
bannocks. 

Our meat supply was now very low indeed ; we were reduced to 
just a few scraps. Fortunately, however, we caught two seals 
and four emperor penguins, and next day forty adelies. We had 
now only forty days' food left, and the lack of blubber was being 
keenly felt. All our suet was used up, so we used seal-blubber to 
fry the meat in. Once we were used to its fishy taste we enjoyed 
it ; in fact, like Oliver Twist, we wanted more. 

On Leap Year day, February 29, we held a special celebration, 
more to cheer the men up than for anything else. Some of the 
cynics of the party held that it was to celebrate their escape from 
woman's wiles for another four years. The last of our cocoa was 
used to-day. Henceforth water, with an occasional drink of weak 
milk, is to be our only beverage. Three lumps of sugar were 
now issued to each man daily. 



112 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

One night one of the dogs broke loose and played havoc with 
our precious stock of bannocks. He ate four and half of a fifth 
before he could be stopped. The remaining half, with the marks 
of the dog's teeth on it, I gave to Worsley, who divided it up 
amongst his seven tent-mates; they each received about half a 
square inch. 

Lees, who was in charge of the food and responsible for its safe 
keeping, wrote in his diary : " The shorter the provisions the more 
there is to do in the commissariat department, contriving to eke 
out our slender stores as the weeks pass by. No housewife ever 
had more to do than we have in making a little go a long way. 

" Writing about the bannock that Peter bit makes one wish now 
that one could have many a meal that one has given to the dog at 
home. When one is hungry, fastidiousness goes to the winds and 
one is only too glad to eat up any scraps, regardless of their an- 
tecedents. One is almost ashamed to write of all the titbits one 
has picked up here, but it is enough to say that when the cook 
upset some pemmican on to an old sooty cloth and threw it outside 
his galley, one man subsequently made a point of acquiring it and 
scraping off the palatable but dirty compound." Another man 
searched for over an hour in the snow where he had dropped a piece 
of cheese some days before, in the hopes of finding a few crumbs. 
He was rewarded by coming across a piece as big as his thumb-nail, 
and considered it well worth the trouble. 

By this time blubber was a regular article of our diet — either 
raw, boiled, or fried. " It is remarkable how our appetites have 
changed in this respect. Until quite recently almost the thought 
of it was nauseating. Now, however, we positively demand it. 
The thick black oil which is rendered down from it, rather like 
train-oil in appearance and cod-liver oil in taste, we drink with 
avidity." 

We had now about enough farinaceous food for two meals all 
round, and sufficient seal to last for a month. Our forty days' 
reserve sledging rations, packed on the sledges, we wished to keep 
till the last. 

But, as one man philosophically remarked in his diary : " It 



PATIENCE CAMP 113 

will do us all good to be hungry like this, for we will appreciate so 
much more the good things when we get home." 

Seals and penguins now seemed to studiously avoid us, and on 
taking stock of our provisions on March 21 I found that we had 
only sufficient meat to last us for ten days, and the blubber would 
not last that time even, so one biscuit had to be our midday meal. 

Our meals were now practically all seal-meat, with one biscuit 
at midday ; and I calculated that at this rate, allowing for a cer- 
tain number of seals and penguins being caught, we could last 
for nearly six months. We were all very weak, though, and as 
soon as it appeared likely that we should leave our floe and take 
to the boats I should have to considerably increase the ration. 
One day a huge sea-leopard climbed on to the floe and attacked 
one of the men. Wild, hearing the shouting, ran out and shot it. 
When it was cut up we found in its stomach several undigested 
fish. These we fried in some of its blubber, and so had our only 
" fresh " fish meal during the whole of our drift on the ice. 

" As fuel is so scarce we have had to resort to melting ice for 
drinking-water in tins against our bodies, and we treat the tins of 
dog-pemmican for breakfast similarly by keeping them in our 
sleeping-bags all night. 

" The last two teams of dogs were shot to-day (April 2), the 
carcases being dressed for food. We had some of the dog-meat 
cooked, and it was not at all bad — just like beef, but, of course, 
very tough." 

On April 5 we killed two seals, and this, with the sea-leopard of 
a few days before, enabled us to slightly increase our ration. 
Everybody now felt much happier ; such is the psychological effect 
of hunger appeased. 

On cold days a few strips of raw blubber were served out to 
all hands, and it is wonderful how it fortified us against the cold. 

Our stock of forty days' sledging rations remained practically 
untouched, but once in the boats they were used at full strength. 

When we first settled down at Patience Camp the weather was 
very mild. New Year's Eve, however, was foggy and overcast, 
with some snow, and next day, though the temperature rose to 38° 



114 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Fahr., it was " abominably cold and wet underfoot." As a rule, 
during the first half of January the weather was comparatively 
warm, so much so that we could dispense with ou.r mitts, and work 
outside for quite long periods with bare hands. Up till the 13th 
it was exasperatingly warm and calm. This meant that our drift 
northwards, which was almost entirely dependent on the wind, 
was checked. A light southerly breeze on the 16th raised all our 
hopes, and as the temperature was dropping we were looking for- 
ward to a period of favourable winds and a long drift north. 

On the 18th it had developed into a howling south-westerly gale, 
rising next day to a regular blizzard with much drift. 'No one 
left the shelter of his tent except to feed the dogs, fetch the meals 
from the galley for his tent, or when his turn as watchman came 
round. For six days this lasted, when the drift subsided some- 
what, though the southerly wind continued, and we were able to 
get a glimpse of the sun. This showed us to have drifted 84 
miles north in six days, the longest drift we had made. For 
weeks we had remained on the 6Yth parallel, and it seemed as 
though some obstruction was preventing us from passing it. By 
this amazing leap, however, we had crossed the Antarctic Circle, 
and were now 146 miles from the nearest land to the west of us — 
Snow Hill — and 357 miles from the South Orkneys, the first land 
directly to the north of us. 

As if to make up for this, an equally strong north-easterly 
wind sprang up next day, and not only stopped our northward 
drift but set us back three miles to the south. As usual, high 
temperatures and wet fog accompanied these northerly winds, 
though the fog disappeared on the afternoon of January 25, and 
we had the unusual spectacle of bright hot sun with a north-east- 
erly wind. It was as hot a day as we had ever had. The tem- 
perature was 36° Fahr. in the shade and nearly 80° Fahr. inside 
the tents. This had an awful effect on the surface, covering it 
with pools and making it very treacherous to walk upon. Ten 
days of northerly winds rather damped our spirits, but a strong 
southerly wind on February 4, backing later to south-east, car- 
ried us north again. High temperatures and northerly winds 



PATIENCE CAMP 115 

soon succeeded this, so that our average rate of northerly drift 
was about a mile a day in February. Throughout the month the 
diaries record alternately " a wet day, overcast and mild " and 
"bright and cold with light southerly winds." The wind was 
now the vital factor with us, and the one topic of any real interest. 

The beginning of March brought cold, damp, calm weather, 
with much wet snow and overcast skies. The effect of the 
weather on our mental state was very marked. All hands felt 
much more cheerful on a bright sunny day, and looked forward 
with much more hope to the future, than when it was dull and 
overcast. This had a much greater effect than an increase in 
rations. 

A south-easterly gale on the 13th lasting for five days sent us 
twenty miles north, and from now our good fortune, as far as 
the wind was concerned, never left us for any length of time. 
On the 20th we experienced the worst blizzard we had had up to 
that time, though worse were to come after landing on Elephant 
Island. Thick snow fell, making it impossible to see the camp 
from thirty yards off. To go outside for a moment entailed get- 
ting covered all over with fine powdery snow, which required a 
great deal of brushing off before one could enter again. 

As the blizzard eased up, the temperature dropped and it be- 
came bitterly cold. In our weak condition, with torn, greasy 
clothes, we felt these sudden variations in temperature much more 
than we otherwise would have done. A calm, clear, magnificently 
warm day followed, and next day came a strong southerly blizzard. 
Drifts four feet deep covered everything, and we had to be con- 
tinually digging up our scanty stock of meat to prevent its being 
lost altogether. We had taken advantage of the previous fine day 
to attempt to thaw out our blankets, which were frozen stiff and 
could be held out like pieces of sheet-iron; but on this day, and 
for the next two or three also, it was impossible to do anything 
but get right inside one's frozen sleeping-bag to try and get warm. 
Too cold to read or sew, we had to keep our hands well inside, and 
pass the time in conversation with each other. 

" The temperature was not strikingly low as temperatures go 



116 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

down here, but the terrific winds penetrate the flimsy fabric of 
our fragile tents and create so much draught that it is impossible to 
keep warm within. At supper last night our drinking-water 
froze over in the tin in the tent before we could drink it. It is 
curious how thirsty we all are." 

Two days of brilliant warm sunshine succeeded these cold times, 
and on March 29 we experienced, to us, the most amazing weather. 
It began to rain hard, and it was the first rain that we had seen 
since we left South Georgia sixteen months ago. We regarded 
it as our first touch with civilization, and many of the men longed 
for the rain and fogs of London. 

Strong south winds with dull, overcast skies and occasional high 
temperatures were now our lot till April 7, when the mist lifted 
and we could make out what appeared to be land to the north. 

Although the general drift of our ice-floe had indicated to us 
that we must eventually drift north, our progress in that direc- 
tion was not by any means uninterrupted. We were at the mercy 
of the wind, and could no more control our drift than we could 
control the weather. 

A long spell of calm, still weather at the beginning of January 
caused us some anxiety by keeping us at about the latitude that 
we were in at the beginning of December. Towards the end of 
January, however, a long drift of eighty-four miles in a blizzard 
cheered us all up. This soon stopped and we began a slight drift 
to the east. Our general drift now slowed up considerably, and 
by February 22 we were still eighty miles from Paulet Island, 
which now was our objective. There was a hut there and some 
stores which had been taken down by the ship which went to the 
rescue of Nor denskj old's Expedition in 1904, and whose fitting 
out and equipment I had charge of. We remarked amongst our- 
selves what a strange turn of fate it would be if the very cases of 
provisions which I had ordered and sent out so many years before 
were now to support us during the coming winter. But this was 
not to be. March 5 found us about forty miles south of the 
longitude of Paulet Island, but well to the east of it; and as the 
ice was still too much broken up to sledge over, it appeared as if 




PI,ol,H,rnijh h,i F BUffrii 
WORSLEY TAKING OBSERV \TIONS OF THE SUN TO UETERJMINE OUR POSITION 





rh,,t,u,ra]ili btl F. Biirley 
'WE CUT STRPS TN THIS 25 FOOT SLAB AND IT JIAKES A FINE LOOKOUT" 



PATIENCE CAMP 117 

we should be carried past it. By March 17 we were exactly on 
a level with Paulet Island but sixty miles to the east. It might 
have been six hundred for all the chance that we had of reaching 
it by sledging across the broken sea-ice in its present condition. 

Our thoughts now turned to the Danger Islands, thirty-five 
miles away. " It seems that we are likely to drift up and down 
this coast from south-west to north-east and back again for some 
time yet before we finally clear the point of Joinville Island ; until 
we do we cannot hope for much opening up, as the ice must be 
very congested against the south-east coast of the island, other- 
wise our failure to respond to -the recent south-easterly gale can- 
not be well accounted for. In support of this there has been 
some very heavy pressure on the north-east side of our floe, one 
immense block being up-ended to a height of 25 ft. We saw a 
Dominican gull fly over to-day, fhe first we have seen since leaving 
South Georgia'; it -is another sign of our proximity to land. We 
cut steps in this 25-ft. slab, and it makes a fine look-out. When 
the weather clears we confidently expect to see land." 

A heavy blizzard obscured our view till March 23. " ' Land 
in sight ' was reported this morning. We were sceptical, but this 
afternoon it showed up unmistakably to the west, and there can 
be no further doubt about it. It is JoinwUe Island, and its ser- 
rated mountain ranges, all snow-clad, are just visible on the 
horizon. This barren, inhospitable-looking land would be a haven 
of refuge to us if we could but reach it. It would be ridiculous 
to make the attempt, though, with the ice all broken up as it is. 
It is too loose and broken to march over, yet not open enough to 
be able to launch the boats." Eor the next two or three days 
we saw ourselves slowly drifting past the land, longing to reach 
it yet prevented from doing so by the ice between, and towards 
the end of March we saw Mount Haddington fade away into the 
distance. 

Our hopes were now centred on Elephant Island or Clarence 
Island, which lay 100 miles almost due north of us. 

If we failed to reach either of them we might try for South 
Georgia, but our chances of reaching it would be very small. 



OHAPTEE VIII 

ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 

On April Y at daylight the long-desired peak of Clarence Island 
came into view, bearing nearly north from our camp. At first it 
had the appearance of a huge berg, but with the growing light we 
could see plainly the black lines of scree and the high precipitous 
cliffs of the island, which were miraged up to some extent. The 
dark rocks in the white snow were a pleasant sight. So long had 
our eyes looked on icebergs that apparently grew or dwindled 
according to the angles at which the shadows were cast by the sun ; 
so often had we discovered rocky islands and brought in sight 
the peaks of Joinville Land, only to find them, after some change 
of wind or temperature, floating away as nebulous cloud or ordi- 
nary berg, that not until Worsley, Wild, and Hurley had unan- 
imously confirmed my observation was I satisfied that I was really 
looking at Clarence Island. The land was still more than sixty 
miles away, but it had to our eyes something of the appearance 
of home, since we expected to find there our first solid footing 
after all the long months of drifting on the unstable ice. We had 
adjusted ourselves to the life on the floe, but our hopes had been 
fixed all the time on some possible landing-place. As one hope 
failed to materialize, our anticipations fed theniselves on another. 
Our drifting home had no rudder to guide it, no sail to give it 
speed. We were dependent upon the caprice of wind and current ; 
we went whither those irresponsible forces listed. The longing 
to feel solid earth under our feet filled our hearts. 

In the full daylight Clarence Island ceased to look like land 
and had the appearance of a berg not more than eight or ten 
miles away, so deceptive are distances in the clear air of the 

Antarctic. The sharp white peaks of Elephant Island showed to 

118 



ESCAPE EEOM THE ICE 119 

the west of north a little later in the day. " I have stopped issu- 
ing sugar now, and our meals consist of seal-meat and blubber 
only, with 1 ozs. of dried milk per day for the party," I wrote. 
" Each man receives a pinch of salt, and the milk is boiled up to 
make hot drinks for all hands. The diet suits us, since we can- 
not get much exercise on the floe and the blubber supplies heat. 
Fried slices of blubber seem to our taste to resemble crisp bacon. 
It certainly is no hardship to eat it, though persons living under 
civilized conditions probably would shudder at it. The hardship 
would come if we were unable to get it." I think that the palate 
of the human animal can adjust itself to anything. Some crea- 
tures will die before accepting a strange diet if deprived of their 
natural food. The Yaks of the Himalayan uplands must feed 
from the growing grass, scanty and dry though it may be, and 
would starve even if allowed the best oats and corns. " We still 
have the dark water-sky of the last week with us to the south- 
west and west, round to the north-east. We are leaving all the 
bergs to the west and there are few within our range of vision 
now. The swell is more marked to-day, and I feel sure we are 
at the verge of the floe-ice. One strong gale followed by a calm 
would scatter the pack, I think, and then we could push through. 
I have been thinking much of our prospects. The appearance 
of Clarence Island after our long drift seems, somehow, to con- 
vey an ultimatum. The island is the last outpost of the south 
and our final chance of a landing-place. Beyond it lies the broad 
Atlantic. Our little boats may be compelled any day now to 
sail unsheltered over the open sea with a thousand leagues of 
ocean separating them from the land to the north and east. It 
seems vital that we shall land on Clarence Island or its neigh- 
bour. Elephant Island. The latter island has an attraction for 
us, although as far as I know nobody has ever landed there. Its 
name suggests the presence of the plump and succulent sea-ele- 
phant. We have an increasing desire in any case to get firm 
ground under our feet. The floe has been a good friend to us, 
but it is reaching the end of its journey, and it is liable at any 
time now to break up and fling us into the unplumbed sea." 



120 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

A little later, after reviewing the whole situation in the light 
of our circumstances, I made up my mind that we should try to 
reach Deception Island. The relative positions of Clarence, Ele- 
phant, and Deception Islands can be seen on the chart. The two 
islands first named lay comparatively near to us and were sep- 
arated by some eighty miles of water from Prince George Island, 
which was about 150 miles away from our camp on the berg. 
Prom this island a chain of similar islands extends westward, 
terminating in Deception Island. The channels separating these 
desolate patches of rock and ice are from ten to fifteen miles wide. 
But we knew from the Admiralty sailing directions that there were 
stores for the use of shipwrecked mariners on Deception Island, 
and it was possible that the summer whalers had not yet deserted 
its harbour. Also we had learned from our scanty records that 
a small church had been erected there for the benefit of the tran- 
sient whalers. The existence of this building would mean to 
us a supply of timber, from which, if dire necessity urged us, we 
could construct a reasonably seaworthy boat. We had discussed 
this point during our drift on the floe. Two of our boats were 
fairly strong, but the third, the James Caird, was light, although a 
little longer than the others. All of them were small for the nav- 
igation of these notoriously stormy seas, and they would be heavily 
loaded, so a voyage in open water would be a serious undertaking. 
I fear that the carpenter's fingers were already itching to convert 
pews into topsides and decks. In any case, the worst that could 
befall us when we had reached Deception Island would be a wait 
until the whalers returned about the middle of November. 

Another bit of information gathered from the records of the 
west side of the Weddell Sea related to Prince George Island. 
The Admiralty " Sailing Directions," referring to the South Shet- 
lands, mentioned a cave on this island. None of us had seen that 
cave or could say if it was large or small, wet or dry; but as we 
drifted on our floe and later, when navigating the treacherous 
leads and making our uneasy night camps, that cave seemed to my 
fancy to be a palace which in contrast would dim the splendours 
of Versailles. 



ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 121 

The swell increased that night and the movement of the ice 
became more pronounced. Occasionally a neighbouring floe would 
hammer against the ice on which we were camped, and the les- 
son of these blows was plain to read. We must get solid ground 
under our feet quickly. When the vibration ceased after a heavy 
surge, my thoughts flew round to the problem ahead. If the party 
had not numbered more than six men a solution would not have 
been so hard to flnd ; but obviously the transportation of the whole 
party to a place of safety, with the limited means at our disposal, 
was going to be a matter of extreme difficulty. There were twenty- 
eight men on our floating cake of ice, which was steadily dwindling 
under the influence of wind, weather, charging floes, and heavy 
swell. I confess that I felt the burden of responsibility sit heav- 
ily on my shoulders ; but, on the other hand, I was stimulated and 
cheered by the attitude of the men. Loneliness is the penalty of 
leadership, but the man who has to make the decisions is assisted 
greatly if he feels that there is no uncertainty in the minds of 
those who follow him, and that his orders will be carried out con- 
fidently and in expectation of success. 

The sun was shining in the blue sky on the following morning 
(April 8). Clarence Island showed clearly on the horizon, and 
Elephant Island could also be distinguished. The single snow- 
clad peak of Clarence Island stood up as a beacon of safety, 
though the most optimistic imagination could not make an easy 
path of the ice and ocean that separated us from that giant white 
and austere. " The pack was much looser this morning, and the 
long rolling swell from the north-east is more pronounced than it 
was yesterday. The floes rise and fall with the surge of the sea. 
We evidently are drifting with the surface current, for all the 
heavier masses of floe, bergs, and hummocks are being left be- 
hind. There has been some discussion in the camp as to the ad- 
visability of making one of the bergs our home for the time being 
and drifting with it to the west. The idea is not sound. I can- 
not be sure that the berg would drift in the right direction. If 
it did move west and carried us into the open water, what would 
be our fate when we tried to launch the boats down the steep sides 



122 CROSSIE'G THE SOUTH POLE 

of the berg in the sea-swell after the surrounding floes had left us ? 
One must reckon, too, the chance of the berg splitting or even over- 
turning during our stay. It is not possible to gauge the condi- 
tion of a big mass of ice by surface appearance. The ice may have 
a fault, and when the wind, current, and swell set up strains and 
tensions, the line of weakness may reveal itself suddenly and dis- 
astrously. No, I do not like the idea of drifting on a berg. We 
must stay on our floe till conditions improve and then make an- 
other attempt to advance towards the land." 

At 6.30 p.m". a particularly heavy shock went through our floe. 
The watchman and other members of the party made an immediate 
inspection and found a crack right under the James Caird and be- 
tween the other two boats and the main camp. Within five min- 
utes the boats were over the crack and close to the tents. The 
trouble was not caused by a blow from another floe. We could 
see that the piece of ice we occupied had slewed and now pre- 
sented its long axis towards the oncoming swell. The floe, there- 
fore, was pitching in the manner of a ship, and it had cracked 
across when the swell lifted the centre, leaving the two ends com- 
paratively unsupported. We were now on a triangular raft of 
ice, the three sides measuring, roughly, 90, 100, and 120 yds. 
IN'ight came down dull and overcast, and before midnight the wind 
had freshened from the west. We could see that the pack was 
opening under the influence of wind, wave, and current, and I felt 
that the time for launching the boats was near at hand. Indeed, 
it was obvious that even if the conditions were unfavourable for a 
start during the coming day, we could not safely stay on the floe 
many hours longer. The movement of the ice in the swell was 
increasing, and the floe might split right under our camp. We 
had made preparations for quick action if anything of the kind oc- 
curred. Our case would be desperate if the ice broke into small 
pieces not large enough to support our party and not loose enough 
to permit the use of the boats. 

The following day was Sunday (April 9), but it proved no day 
of rest for us. Many of the important events of our Expedition 
occurred on Sundays, and this particular day was to see our forced 






,i^^ 




ESCAPE EEOM THE ICE 123 

departure from the floe on which we had lived for nearly six 
months, and the start of our journeyings in the boats. " This 
has been an eventful day. The morning was fine, though some- 
what overcast by stratus and cumulus clouds ; moderate south- 
south-westerly and south-easterly breezes. We hoped that with 
this wind the ice would drift nearer to Clarence Island. At 7 
a.m. lanes of water and leads could be seen on the horizon to the 
west. The ice separating us from the lanes was loose, but did 
not appear to be workable for the boats. The long swell from 
the north-west was coming in- more freely than on the previous 
day and was driving the floes together in the utmost confusion. 
The loose brash between the masses of ice was being churned to 
mudlike consistency, and no boat could have lived in the channels 
that opened and closed around us. Our own floe was suffering in 
the general disturbance, and after breakfast I ordered the tents to 
be struck and everything prepared for an immediate start when the 
boats could be launched." I had decided to take the James Caird 
myself, with Wild and eleven men. This was the largest of our 
boats, and in addition to her human complement she carried the 
major portion of the stores. Worsley had charge of the Dudley 
Docker with nine men, and Hudson and Crean were the senior 
men on the Stancomh Wills. 

Soon after breakfast the ice closed again. We were standing 
by, with our preparations as complete as they could be made, when 
at 11 a.m. our floe suddenly split right across under the boats. 
We rushed our gear on to the larger of the two pieces and watched 
with strained attention for the next development. The crack had 
cut through the site of my tent. I stood on the edge of the new 
fracture, and, looking across the widening channel of water, could 
see the spot where for many months my head and shoulders had 
rested when I was in my sleeping-bag. The depression formed by 
ray body and legs was on our side of the crack. The ice had sunk 
under my weight during the months of waiting in the tent, and I 
had many times put snow under the bag to flU the hollow. The 
lines of stratification showed clearly the different layers of snow. 
How fragile and precarious had been our resting-place! Yet 



124 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

usage had dulled our sense of danger. The floe had become our 
home, and during the early months of the drift we had almost 
ceased to realize that it was but a sheet of ice floating on un- 
fathomed seas. ISTow our home was being shattered under our 
feet, and we had a sense of loss and incompleteness hard to de- 
scribe. 

The fragments of our floe came together again a little later, and 
we had our lunch of seal-meat, all hands eating their fill. I 
thought that a good meal would be the best possible preparation 
for the journey that now seemed imminent, and as we would not 
be able to take all our meat with us when we finally moved, we 
could regard every pound eaten as a pound rescued. The call 
to action came at 1 p.m. The pack opened well and the channels 
became navigable. The conditions were not all one could have 
desired, but it was best not to wait any longer. The Dudley 
Docker and the Stancomb Wills were launched quickly. Stores 
were thrown in, and the two boats were pulled clear of the im- 
mediate floes towards a pool of open water three miles broad, in 
which floated a lone and mighty berg. The James Caird was the 
last boat to leave, heavily loaded with stores and odds and ends of 
camp equipment. Many things regarded by us as essentials at 
that time were to be discarded a little later as the pressure of the 
primitive became more severe. Man can sustain life with very 
scanty means. The trappings of civilization are soon cast aside 
in the face of stern realities, and given the barest opportunity of 
winning food and shelter, man can live and even find his laughter 
ringing true. 

The three boats were a mile away from our floe home at 2 p.m. 
We had made our way through the channels and had entered the 
big pool when we saw a rush of foam-clad water and tossing ice 
approaching us, like the tidal bore of a river. The pack was 
being impelled to the east by a tide-rip, and two huge masses of 
ice were driving dovra. upon us on converging courses. The 
James Caird was leading. Starboarding the helm and bending 
strongly to the oars, we managed to get clear. The two other 
boats followed us, though from their position astern at first they 



ESCAPE FEOM THE ICE 125 

had not realized the immediate danger. The Stancomh Wills 
was the last boat and she was very nearly caught, but by great 
exertion she was kept just ahead of the driving ice. It was an 
unusual and startling experience. The effect of tidal action on 
ice is not often as marked as it was that day. The advancing 
ice, accompanied by a large wave, appeared to be travelling at 
about three knots, and if we had not succeeded in pulling clear 
we would certainly have been swamped. 

We puUed hard for an hour to windward of the berg that lay 
in the open water. The swell was crashing on its perpendicular 
sides and throwing spray to a height of sixty feet. Evidently 
there was an ice-foot at the east end, for the swell broke before 
it reached the berg-face and flung its white spray on to the blue 
ice-wall. We might have paused to admire the spectacle under 
other conditions; but night was coming on apace, and we needed 
a camping-place. As we steered north-west, still amid the ice- 
floes, the Dudley Docker got jammed between two masses while 
attempting to make a short cut. The old adage about a short 
cut being the longest way round is often as true in the Antarctic 
as it is in the peaceful countryside. The James Caird got a line 
aboard the Dudley Docker, and after some hauling the boat was 
brought clear of the ice again. We hastened forward in the twi- 
light in search of a flat, old floe, and presently found a fairly 
large piece rocking in the swell. It was not an ideal camping- 
place by any means, but darkness had overtaken us. We hauled 
the boats up, and by 8 p.m. had the tents pitched and the blubber- 
stove burning cheerily. Soon all hands were well fed and happy 
in their tents, and snatches of song came to me as I wrote up my 
log. 

Some intangible feeling of uneasiness made me leave my tent 
about 11 p.m. that night and glance around the quiet camp. The 
stars between the snow-flurries showed that the floe had swung 
round and was end on to the swell, a position exposing it to sud- 
den strains. I started to walk across the floe in order to warn 
the watchman to look carefully for cracks, and as I was passing 
the men's tent the floe lifted on the crest of a swell and cracked 



126 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

right under my feet. The men were in one of the dome-shaped 
tents, and it began to stretch apart as the ice opened. A muffled 
sound, suggestive of suffocation, came from beneath the stretching 
tent. I rushed forward, helped some emerging men from under 
the canvas, and called out, " Are you all right ? " " There are 
two in the water," somebody answered. The crack had widened 
to about four feet, and as I threw myself down at the edge, I saw 
a whitish object floating in the water. It was a sleeping-bag with 
a man inside. I was able to grasp it, and with a heave lifted 
man and bag on to the floe. A few seconds later the ice-edges 
came together again with tremendous force. Fortunately, there 
had been but one man in the water, or the incident might have 
been a tragedy. The rescued bag contained Holness, who was wet 
down to the waist but otherwise unscathed. The crack was now 
opening again. The James Caird and my tent were on one side 
of the opening and the remaining two boats and the rest of the 
camp on the other side. With two or three men to help me I 
struck my tent; then all hands manned the painter and rushed 
the Jcrnies Caird across the opening crack. We held to the rope 
while, one by one, the men left on our side of the floe jumped the 
channel or scrambled over by means of the boat. Einally I was 
left alone. The night had swallowed all the others and the rapid 
movement of the ice forced me to let go the painter. For a mo- 
ment I felt that my piece of rocking floe was the loneliest place in 
the world. Peering into the darkness, I could just see the dark 
figures on the other floe. I hailed Wild, ordering him to launch 
the Stancomh Wills, but I need not have troubled. His quick 
brain had anticipated the order and already the boat was being 
manned and hauled to the ice-edge. Two or three minutes later 
she reached me, and I was ferried across to the camp. 

We were now on a piece of flat ice about 200 ft. long and 100 
ft. wide. There was no more sleep for any of us that night. 
The killers were blowing in the lanes around, and we waited for 
daylight and watched for signs of another crack in the ice. The 
hours passed with laggard feet as we stood huddled together or 
walked to and fro in the effort to keep some warmth in our bodies. 



ESCAPE EEOM THE ICE 127 

We lit the blubber-stove at 3 a.m., and with pipes going and a 
cup of hot milk for each man, we were able to discover some bright 
spots in our outlook. At any rate, we were on the move at last, 
and if dangers and difficulties loomed ahead we could meet and 
overcome them. No longer were we drifting helplessly at the 
mercy of wind and current. 

The first glimmerings of dawn came at 6 a.m., and I waited 
anxiously for the full daylight. The swell was growing, and at 
times our ice was surrounded closely by similar pieces. At 6.30 
a.m. we had hot hoosh, and then stood by waiting for the pack to 
open. Our chance came at 8, when we launched the boats, loaded 
them, and started to make our way through the lanes in a northerly 
direction. The James Caird was in the lead, with the Stancomh 
Wills next and the Dudley Docker bringing up the rear. In 
order to make the boats more seaworthy we had left some of our 
shovels, picks, and dried vegetables on the floe, and for a long 
time we could see the abandoned stores forming a dark spot on the 
ice. The boats were still heavily loaded. We got out of the lanes 
and entered a stretch of open water at 11 a.m. A strong easterly 
breeze was blowing, but the fringe of pack lying outside pro- 
tected us from the full force of the swell, just as the coral-reef 
of a tropical island checks the rollers of the Pacific. Our way 
was across the open sea, and soon after noon we swung round 
the north end of the pack and laid a course to the westward, the 
James Caird still in the lead. Immediately our deeply laden 
boats began to make heavy weather. They shipped sprays, which, 
freezing as they fell, covered men and gear with^ice, and soon 
it was clear that we could not safely proceed. I put the James 
Cair round and ran for the shelter of the pack again, the other 
boats following. Back inside the outer line of ice the sea was 
not breaking. This w^as at 3 p.m., and all hands were tired and 
cold. A big floeberg resting peacefully ahead caught my eye, and 
half an hour later we had hauled up the boats and pitched camp 
for the night. It was a fine big blue berg with an attractively 
solid appearance, and from our camp we could get a good view of 
the surrounding sea a^id ice. The highest point was about 15 ft. 



128 OEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

above sea-level. After a hot meal all hands, except the watch- 
man, turned in. Every one was in need of rest after the troubles 
of the previous night and the unaccustomed strain of the last 
thirty-six hours at the oars. The berg appeared well able to with- 
stand the battering of the sea, and too deep and massive to be 
seriously affected by the swell ; but it was not as safe as it looked. 
About midnight the watchman called me and showed me that the 
heavy north-westerly swell was undermining the ice. A great 
piece had broken off within eight feet of my tent. We made what 
inspection was possible in the darkness, and found that on the 
westward side of the berg the thick snow-covering was yielding 
rapidly to the attacks of the sea. An ice-foot had formed just 
under the surface of the water. I decided that there was no im- 
mediate danger and did not call the men. The north-westerly 
wind strengthened during the night. 

The morning of April 11 was overcast and misty. There was 
a haze on the horizon, and daylight showed that the pack had 
closed round our berg, making it impossible in the heavy swell to 
launch the boats. We could see no sign of the water. Numerous 
whales and killers were blowing between the floes, and Cape 
pigeons, petrels, and fulmars were circling round our berg. The 
scene from our camp as the daylight brightened was magnificent 
beyond description, though I must admit that we viewed it with 
anxiety. Heaving hills of pack and floe were sweeping towards 
us in long undulations, later to be broken here and there by the 
dark lines that indicated open water. As each swell lifted around 
our rapidly dissolving berg it drove floe-ice on to the ice-foot, 
shearing off more of the top snow-covering and reducing the size 
of our camp. When the floes retreated to attack again the water 
swirled over the ice-foot, which was rapidly increasing in width. 
The launching of the boats under such conditions would be diffi- 
cult. Time after time, so often that a track was formed, Worsley, 
Wild, and I climbed to the highest point of the berg and stared 
out to the horizon in search of a break in the pack. After long 
hours had dragged past, far away on the lift of the swell there 
appeared a dark break in the tossing field of ice. ^ons seemed 



ESCAPE EEOM THE ICE • 129 

to pass, so slowly it approached. I noticed enviously the calm, 
peaceful attitudes of two seals which lolled lazily on a rocking 
floe. They were at home and had no reason for worry or cause 
for fear. If they thought at all, I suppose they counted it an 
ideal day for a joyous journey on the tumbling ice. To us it 
was a day that seemed likely to lead to no more days. I do not 
think I had ever before felt the anxiety that belongs to leadership 
quite so keenly. When I looked down at the camp to rest my 
eyes from the strain of watching the wide white expanse broken 
by that one black ribbon of open water, I could see that my com- 
panions were waiting with more than ordinary interest to learn 
what I thought about it all. After one particularly heavy col- 
lision somebody shouted sharply, " She has cracked in the mid- 
dle." I jumped off the look-out station and ran to the place the 
men were examining. There was a crack, but investigation 
showed it to be a mere surface-break in the snow with no indica- 
tion of a split in the berg itself. The carpenter mentioned calmly 
that earlier in the day he had actually gone adrift on a fragment 
of ice. He was standing near the edge of our camping-ground 
when the ice under his feet parted from the parent mass. A quick 
jump over the widening gap saved him. 

The hours dragged on. One of the anxieties in my mind was 
the possibility that we would be driven by the current through the 
eighty-mile gap between Clarence Island and Prince George 
Island into the open Atlantic; but slowly the open water came 
nearer, and at noon it had almost reached us. A long lane, narrow 
but navigable, stretched out to the south-west horizon. Our 
chance came a little later. We rushed our boats over the edge of 
the reeling berg and swung them clear of the ice-foot as it rose 
beneath them. The James Caird was nearly capsized by a blow 
from below as the berg rolled away, but she got into deep water. 
We flung stores and gear aboard and within a few minutes were 
away. The James Caird and Dudley Docker had good sails and 
with a favourable breeze could make progress along the lane, with 
the rolling fields of ice on either side. The swell was heavy and 
spray was breaking over the ice-floes. An attempt to set a little 



130 CKOSSIWa THE SOUTH POLE 

rag of sail on the Stancomb Wills resulted in serious delay. Tlie 
area of sail was too small to be of much, assistance, and while the 
men were engaged in this work the boat drifted down towards the 
ice-floe, where her position was likely to be perilous. Seeing her 
plight, I sent the Dudley Docker back for her and tied the James 
Oaird up to a piece of ice. The Dudley Docker had to tow the 
Stancomb Wills, and the delay cost us two hours of valuable day- 
light. When I had the three boats together again we continued 
down the lane, and soon saw a wider stretch of water to the west; 
it appeared to offer us release from the grip of the pack. At the 
head of an ice-tongue that nearly closed the gap through which 
we might enter the open space was a wave-worn berg shaped like 
some curious antediluvian monster, an icy Cerberus guarding the 
way. It had head and eyes and rolled so heavily that it almost 
overturned. Its sides dipped deep in the sea, and as it rose again 
the water seemed to be streaming from its eyes, as though it were 
weeping at our escape from the clutch of the floes. This may seem 
fanciful to the reader, but the impression was real to us at the 
time. People living under civilized conditions, surrounded by 
Nature's varied forms of life and by all the familiar work of their 
own hands, may scarcely realize how quickly the mind, influenced 
by the eyes, responds to the unusual and weaves about it curious 
imaginings like the firelight fancies of our childhood days. We 
had lived long amid the ice, and we half-unconsciously strove to 
see resemblances to human faces and living forms in the fantastic 
contours and massively uncouth shapes of berg and floe. 

At dusk we made fast to a heavy floe, each boat having its 
painter fastened to a separate hummock in order to avoid collisions 
in the swell. We landed the blubber-stove, boiled some water in 
order to provide hot milk, and served cold rations. I also landed 
the dome tents and stripped the coverings from the hoops. Our 
experience of the previous day in the open sea had shown us that 
the tents must be packed tightly. The spray had dashed over 
the bows and turned to ice on the cloth, which had soon grown 
dangerously heavy. Other articles of our scanty equipment had 
to go that night. We were carrying only the things that had 



!<•■■ 



-.§ 




ESCAPE EEOM THE ICE 131 

seemed essential, but we stripped now to the barest limit of safety. 
We bad hoped for a quiet night, but presently we were forced 
to cast off, since pieces of loose ice began to work round the floe. 
Drift-ice is always attracted to the lee side of a heavy floe, where 
it bumps and presses under the influence of the current. I had 
determined not to risk a repetition of the last night's experience 
and so had not pulled the boats up. We spent the hours of dark- 
ness keeping an offing from the main line of pack under the lee of 
the smaller pieces. Constant rain and snow-squalls blotted out 
the stars and soaked us through, and at times it was only by shout- 
ing to each other that we managed to keep the boats together. 
There was no sleep for anybody owing to the severe cold, and we 
dare not pull fast enough to keep ourselves warm since we were 
unable to see more than a few yards ahead. Occasionally the 
ghostly shadows of silver, snow, and fulmar petrels flashed close 
to us, and all around we could hear the killers blowing, their short, 
sharp hisses sounding like sudden escapes of steam. The killers 
were a source of anxiety, for a boat could easily have been cap- 
sized by one of them coming up to blow. They would throw 
aside in a nonchalant fashion pieces of ice much bigger than our 
boats when they rose to the surface, and we had an uneasy feeling 
that the white bottoms of the boats would look like ice from below. 
Shipwrecked mariners drifting in the Antarctic seas would be 
things not dreamed of in the killers' philosophy, and might appear 
on closer examination to be tasty substitutes for seal and pen- 
guin. We certainly regarded the killers with misgivings. 

Early in the morning of April 12 the weather improved and the 
wind dropped. Dawn came with a clear sky, cold and fearless. 
I looked around at the faces of my companions in the James Caird 
and saw pinched and drawn features. The strain was beginning 
to tell. Wild sat at the rudder with the same calm, confident 
expression that he would have worn under happier conditions ; his 
steel-blue eyes looked out to the day ahead. All the people, though 
evidently suffering, were doing their best to be cheerful, and the 
prospect of a hot breakfast was inspiriting. I told all the boats 
that immediately we could find a suitable floe the cooker would 



132 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

be started and hot milk and Bovril would soon fix everybody up. 
Away we rowed to the westward through open pack, floes of all 
shapes and sizes on every side of us, and every man not engaged 
in pulling looking eagerly for a suitable camping-place. I could 
gauge the desire for food of the different members by the eager- 
ness they displayed in pointing out to me the floes they considered 
exactly suited to our purpose. The temperature was about 10° 
Eahr., and the Burberry suits of the rowers crackled as the men 
bent to the oars. I noticed little fragments of ice and frost fall- 
ing from arms and bodies. At eight o'clock a decent floe appeared 
ahead and we pulled up to it. The galley was landed, and soon 
the welcome steam rose from the cooking food as the blubber-stove 
flared and smoked. Never did a cook work under more anxious 
scrutiny. Worsley, Crean, and I stayed in our respective boats 
to keep them steady and prevent collisions with the floe, since the 
swell was still running strong, but the other men were able to 
stretch their cramped limbs and run to and fro " in the kitchen," 
as somebody put it. The sim was now rising gloriously. The 
Burberry suits were drying and the ice was melting off our beards. 
The steaming food gave us new vigour, and within three-quarters 
of an hour we were off again to the west with all sails set. We 
had given an additional sail to the Stancomh Wills and she was able 
to keep up pretty well. We could see that we were on the true 
pack-edge, with the blue, rolling sea just outside the fringe of ice 
to the north. White-capped waves vied with the glittering floes 
in the setting of blue water, and countless seals basked and rolled 
on every piece of ice big enough to form a raft. 

We had been making westward with oars and sails since April 
9, and fair easterly winds had prevailed. Hopes were running 
high as to the noon observation for position. The optimists 
thought that we had done sixty miles towards our goal, and the 
most cautious gness gave us at least thirty miles. The bright sun- 
shine and the brilliant scene around us may have influenced our 
anticipations. As noon approached I saw Worsley, as navigating 
oSicer, balancing himself on the gunwale of the Dudley Docker 
with his arm around the mast, ready to snap the sun. He got his 



ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 133 

observation and we waited eagerly while he worked out the sight. 
Then the Dudley Docker ranged up alongside the James Caird and 
I jumped into Worsley's boat in order to see the result. It was a 
grievous disappointment. Instead of making a good run to the 
westward we had made a big drift to the south-east. We were 
actually thirty miles to the east of the position we had occupied 
when we left the floe on the 9th. It has been noted by sealers 
operating in this area that there are often heavy sets to the east 
in the Belgica Straits, and no doubt it was one of these sets that 
we had experienced. The originating cause would be a north- 
westerly gale off Cape Horn, producing the swell that had already 
caused us so much trouble. After a whispered consultation with 
Worsley and Wild I announced that we had not made as much 
progress as we expected, but I did not inform the hands of our 
retrograde movement. 

The question of our course now demanded further consideration. 
Deception Island seemed to be beyond our reach. The wind was 
foul for Elephant Island, and as the sea was clear to the south- 
west, I discussed with Worsley and Wild the advisability of pro- 
ceeding to Hope Bay on the mainland of the Antarctic Continent, 
now only eighty miles distant. Elephant Island was the nearest 
land, but it lay outside the main body of pack, and even if the 
wind had been fair we would have hesitated at that particular time 
to face the high sea that was running in the open. We laid a 
course roughly for Hope Bay, and the boats moved on again. I 
gave Worsley a line for a berg ahead and told him, if possible, to 
make fast before darkness set in. This was about three o'clock 
in the afternoon. We had set sail, and as the Stancomh Wills 
could not keep up with the other two boats I took her in tow, not 
being anxious to repeat the experience of the day we left the reel- 
ing berg. The Dudley Docker went ahead, but came beating 
down towards us at dusk. Worsley had been close to the berg, and 
he reported that it was unapproachable. It was rolling in the 
swell and displaying an ugly ice-foot. The news was bad. In 
the failing light we turned towards a line of pack, and found it 
so tossed and churned by the sea that no fragment remained big 



134 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

enough to give us an anchorage and shelter. Two miles away we 
could see a larger piece of ice, and to it we managed, after some 
trouble, to secure the boats. I brought my boat bow on to the floe, 
whilst Howe, with the painter in his hand, stood ready to jump. 
Standing up to watch our chance, while the oars were held ready 
to back the moment Howe had made his leap, I could see that 
there would be no possibility of getting the galley ashore that 
night. Howe just managed to get a footing on the edge of the 
floe, and then made the painter fast to a hummock. The other 
two boats were fastened alongside the James Caird. They could 
not lie astern of us in a line, since cakes of ice came drifting round 
the floe and gathering under its lee. As it was we spent the next 
two hours poling off the drifting ice that surged towards us. The 
blubber-stove could not be used, so we started the Primus lamps. 
There was a rough, choppy sea, and the Dudley Docker could not 
get her Primus under way, something being adrift. The men in 
that boat had to wait until the cook on the James Caird had boiled 
up the first pot of milk. 

The boats were bumping so heavily that I had to slack away 
the painter of the Stancomb Wills and put her astern. Much ice 
was coming round the floe and had to be poled off. Then the 
Dudley Docker, being the heavier boat, began to damage the 
James Caird, and I slacked the Dudley Docker away. The James 
Caird remained moored to the ice, with the Dudley Docker and the 
Stancomb Wills in line behind her. The darkness had become 
complete, and we strained our eyes to see the fragments of ice 
that threatened us. Presently we thought we saw a great berg 
bearing down upon us, its form outlined against the sky, but this 
startling spectacle resolved itself into a low-lying cloud in front 
of the rising moon. The moon appeared in a clear sky. The 
wind shifted to the south-east as the light improved and drove the 
boats broadside on towards the jagged edge of the floe. We had to 
cut the painter of the James Caird and pole her off, thus losing 
much valuable rope. There was no time to cast off. Then we 
pushed away from the floe, and all night long we lay in the open 
freezing sea, the Dudley Docker now ahead, the James Caird astern 



ESCAPE FEOM THE ICE 135 

of her, and the Stancomb Wills third in the line. The boats were 
attached to one another by their painters. Most of the time the 
Dudley Docker kept the James Caird and the Stancomb Wills up 
to the swell, and the men who were rowing were in better pass 
than those in the other boats, waiting inactive for the dawn. The 
temperature was down to 4° below zero, and a film of ice formed 
on the surface of the sea. When we were not on watch we lay 
in each other's arms for warmth. Our frozen suits thawed where 
our bodies met, and as the slightest movement exposed these com- 
paratively warm spots to the biting air, we clung motionless, 
whispering each to his companion our hopes and thoughts. Oc- 
casionally from an almost clear sky came snow-showers, falling 
silently on the sea and laying a thin shroud of white over our 
bodies and our boats. 

The dawn of April 13 came clear and bright, with occasional 
passing clouds. Most of the men were now looking seriously worn 
and strained. Their lips were cracked and their eyes and eyelids 
showed red in their salt-encrusted faces. The beards even of the 
younger men might have been those of patriarchs, for the frost and 
the salt spray had made them white. I called the Dudley Docker 
alongside and found that the condition of the people there was no 
better than in the James Oaird. Obviously we must make land 
quickly, and I decided to run for Elephant Island. The wind 
had shifted fair for that rocky isle, then about one hundred miles 
away, and the pack that separated us from Hope Bay had closed 
up during the night from the south. At 6 a.m. we made a dis- 
tribution of stores among the three boats, in view of the possibility 
of their being separated. The preparation of a hot breakfast was 
out of the question. The breeze was strong and the sea was 
running high in the loose pack around us. We had a cold meal, 
and I gave orders that all hands might eat as much as they 
pleased, this concession being due partly to a realization that we 
would have to jettison some of our stores when we reached open 
sea in order to lighten the boats. I hoped, moreover, that a full 
meal of cold rations would compensate to some extent for the lack 
of warm food and shelter. Unfortunately, some of the men were 



136 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

unable to take advantage of the extra food owing to seasickness. 
Poor fellows, it was bad enough to be huddled in the deeply laden, 
spray-swept boats, frost-bitten and haK frozen, without having 
the pangs of seasickness added to the list of their woes. But some 
smiles were caused even then by the plight of one man, who had 
a habit of accumulating bits of food against the day of starvation 
that he seemed always to think was at hand, and who was con- 
demned now to watch impotently while hungry comrades with 
undisturbed stomachs made biscuits, rations, and sugar disappear 
with extraordinary rapidity. 

We ran before the wind through the loose pack, a man in the 
bow of each boat trying to pole off with a broken oar the lumps of 
ice that could not be avoided. I regarded speed as essential. 
Sometimes collisions were not averted. The James Caird was in 
the lead, where she bore the brunt of the encounters with lurking 
fragments, and she was holed above the water-line by a sharp spur 
of ice, but this mishap did not stay us. Later the wind became 
stronger and we had to reef sails, so as not to strike the ice too 
heavily. The Dudley Docker came next to the James Caird and 
the Stancomb Wills followed. I had given orders that the boats 
should keep 30 or 40 yds. apart, so as to reduce the danger of a 
collision if one boat was checked by the ice. The pack was thin- 
ning, and we came to occasional open areas where thin ice had 
formed during the night. When we encountered this new ice 
we had to shake the reef out of the sails in order to force a way 
through. Outside of the pack the wind must have been of hurri- 
cane force. Thousands of small dead fish were to be seen, killed 
probably by a cold current and the heavy weather. They floated 
in the water and lay on the ice, where they had been cast by the 
waves. The petrels and skua-gulls were swooping down and pick- 
ing them up like sardines off toast. 

We made our way through the lanes till at noon we were sud- 
denly spewed out of the pack into the open ocean. Dark blue 
and sapphire green ran the seas. Our sails were soon up, and 
with a fair wind we moved over the waves like three Viking ships 
on the quest of a lost Atlantis. With the sheets well out and the 



ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 137 

sun shining bright ahove, we enjoyed for a few hours a sense of 
the freedom and magic of the sea, compensating us for pain and 
trouble in the days that had passed. At last we were free from 
the ice, in water that our boats could navigate. Thoughts of home, 
stifled by the deadening weight of anxious days and nights, came 
to birth once more, and the difficulties that had still to be over- 
come dwindled in fancy almost to nothing. 

During the afternoon we had to take a second reef in the sails, 
for the wind freshened and the deeply laden boats were shipping 
much water and steering badly in the rising sea. I had laid the 
course for Elephant Island and we were making good progress. 
The Dudley Docker ran down to me at dusk and Worsley sug- 
gested that we should stand on all night; but already the Stamr 
comb Wills was barely discernible among the rollers in the gath- 
ering dusk, and I decided that it would be safer to heave to and 
wait for the daylight. It would never have done for the boats to 
have become separated from one another during the night. The 
party raust be kept together, and, moreover, I thought it possible 
that we might overrun our goal in the darkness and not be able 
to return. So we made a sea-anchor of oars and hove to, the 
Dudley Docker in the lead, since she had the longest painter. *The 
James Caird swung astern of the Dudley Docker and the Stan- 
comh Wills again had the third place. We ate a cold meal and 
did what little we could to make things comfortable for the hours 
of darkness. Rest was not for us. During the greater part of 
the night the sprays broke over the boats and froze in masses of 
ice, especially at the stem and bows. This ice had to be broken 
away in order to prevent the boats growing too heavy. The tem- 
perature was below zero and the wind penetrated our clothes and 
chilled us almost unbearably. I doubted if all the men would 
survive that night. One of our troubles was lack of water. We 
had emerged so suddenly from the pack into the open sea that we 
had not had time to take aboard ice for melting in the cookers, 
and without ice we could not have hot food. The Dudley Docker 
had one lump of ice weighing about ten pounds, and this was 
shared out among all hands. We sucked small pieces and got a 



138 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

little relief from the thirst engendered by the salt spray, but at 
the same time we reduced our bodily heat. The condition of most 
of the men was pitiable. All of us had swollen mouths and we 
could hardly touch the food. I longed intensely for the dawn. I 
called out to the other boats at intervals during the night, asking 
how things were with them. The men always managed to reply 
cheerfully. One of the people on the Stancomb Wills shouted, 
" We are doing all right, but I would like some dry mitts." The 
jest brought a smile to cracked lips. He might as well have asked 
for the moon. The only dry things "aboard the boats were swollen 
mouths and burning tongues. Thirst is one of the troubles that 
confront the traveller in polar regions. Ice may be plentiful on 
every hand, but it does not become drinkable until it is melted, 
and the amount that may be dissolved in the mouth is limited. 
We had been thirsty during the days of heavy pulling in the pack, 
and our condition was aggravated quickly by the salt spray. Our 
sleeping-bags would have given us some warmth, but they were 
not within our reach. They were packed under the tents in the 
bows, where a mail-like coating of ice enclosed them, and we were 
so cramped that we could not pull them out. 

At last daylight came, and with the dawn the weather cleared 
and the wind fell to a gentle south-westerly breeze. A magnifi- 
cent sunrise heralded in what we hoped would be our last day in 
the boats. Eose-pink in the growing light, the lofty peak of 
Clarence Island told of the coming glory of the sun. The sky 
grew blue above us and the crests of the waves sparkled cheer- 
fully. As soon as it was light enough we chipped and scraped 
the ice off the bows and stems. The rudders had been unshipped 
during the night in order to avoid the painters catching them. We 
cast off our ice-anchor and pulled the oars aboard. They had 
grown during the night to the thickness of telegraph-poles while 
rising and falling in the freezing seas, and had to be chipped clear 
before they could be brought inboard. 

We were dreadfully thirsty now. We found that we could get 
momentary relief by chewing pieces of raw seal-meat and swallow- 



ESCAPE FEOM THE ICE 139 

ing the blood, but thirst came back with redoubled force owing to 
the saltness of the flesh. I gave orders, therefore, that meat was 
to be served out only at stated intervals during the day or when 
thirst seemed to threaten the reason of any particular individual. 
In the fuU daylight Elephant Island showed cold and severe to 
the north-north-west. The island was on the bearings that Wors- 
ley had laid down, and I congratulated him on the accuracy of his 
navigation under difficult circumstances, with two days' dead reck- 
oning while following a devious course through the pack-ice and 
after drifting during two nights at the mercy of wind and waves. 
The Stancomh Wills came up and Mcllroy reported that Black- 
barrow's feet were very badly frost-bitten. This was unfortunate, 
but nothing could be done. Most of the people were frost-bitten 
to some extent, and it was interesting to notice that the " old- 
timers," Wild, Crean, Hurley, and I, were all right. Apparently 
we were acclimatized to ordinary Antarctic temperature, though 
we learned later that we were not immune. 

All day, with a gentle breeze on our port bow, we sailed and 
pulled through a clear sea. We would have given all the tea in 
China for a lump of ice to melt into water, but no ice was within 
our reach. Three bergs were in sight and we pulled towards 
them, hoping that a trail of brash would be floating on the sea to 
leeward ; but they were hard and blue, devoid of any sign of cleav- 
age, and the swell that surged around them as they rose and fell 
made it impossible for us to approach closely. The wind was 
gradually hauling ahead, and as the day wore on the rays of the 
sun beat fiercely down from a cloudless sky on pain-racked men. 
Progress was slow, but gradually Elephant Island came nearer. 
Always while I attended to the other boats, signalling and order- 
ing, Wild sat at the tiller of the James Caird. He seemed im- 
moved byiatigue and unshaken by privation. About four o'clock 
in the afternoon a stiff breeze came up ahead and, blowing against 
the current, soon produced a choppy sea. During the next hour 
of hard pulling we seemed to make no progress at all. The James 
Caird and the Dudley Docker had been towing the Stamomf) Wills 



140 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

in turn, but my boat now took the Stancomb Wills in tow perma- 
nently, as the James Caird could carry more sail than the Dudley 
Docker in the freshening wind. 

We were making up for the south-east side of Elephant Island, 
the wind being between north-west and west. The boats, held as 
close to the wind as possible, moved slowly, and when darkness 
set in our goal was still some miles away. A heavy sea was run- 
ning. We soon lost sight of the Stancomib Wills, astern of the 
James Caird at the length of the painter, but occasionally the 
white gleam of broken water revealed her presence. When the 
darkness was complete I sat in the stem with my hand on the 
painter, so that I might know if the other boat broke away, and I 
kept that position during the night. The rope grew heavy with 
the ice as the unseen seas surged past us and our little craft 
tossed to the motion of the waters. Just at dusk I had told the 
men on the Stancomb Wills that if their boat broke away during 
the night and they were unable to pull against the wind, they 
could run for the east side of Clarence Island and wait our com- 
ing there. Even though we could not land on Elephant Island, 
it would not do to have the third boat adrift. 

It was a stem night. The men, except the watch, crouched 
and huddled in the bottom of the boat, getting what little warmth 
they could from the soaking sleeping-bags and each other's bodies. 
Harder and harder blew the wind and fiercer and fiercer grew the 
sea. The boat plunged heavily through the squalls and came up 
to the wind, the sail shaking in the stiffest gusts. Every now and 
then, as the night wore on, the moon would shine down through a 
rift in the driving clouds, and in the momentary light I could see 
the ghostly faces of men, sitting up to trim the boat as she heeled 
over to the wind. When the moon was hidden its presence was 
revealed still by the light reflected on the streaming glaciers of the 
island. The temperature had fallen very low, and it seemed that 
the general discomfort of our situation could scarcely have been 
increased ; but the land looming ahead was a beacon of safety, and 
I think we were all buoyed up by the hope that the coming day 
would see the end of our immediate troubles. At least we would 



ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 141 

get firm land under our feet. While the painter of the Stancomb 
Wills tightened and drooped under my hand, my thoughts were 
busy with plans for the future. 

Towards midnight the wind shifted to the south-west, and this 
change enabled us to bear up closer to the island. A little later 
the Dudley Docker ran down to the James Caird, and Worsley 
shouted a suggestion that he should go ahead and search for a 
landing-place. His boat had the heels of the James Caird, with 
the Stancomb Wills in tow. I told him he could try, but he must 
not lose sight of the James Caird. Just as he left me a heavy 
snow-quail came down, and in the darkness the boats parted. I 
saw the Dudley Docker no more. This separation caused me some 
anxiety during the remaining hours of the night. A cross-sea was 
running and I could not feel sure that all was well with the missing 
boat. The waves could not be seen in the darkness, though the di- 
rection and force of the wind could be felt, and under such condi- 
tions, in an open boat, disaster might overtake the most experienced 
navigator. I flashed our compass-lamp on the sail in the hope 
that the signal would be visible on board the Dudley DocTcer, but 
could see no reply. We strained our eyes to windward in the 
darkness in the hope of catching a return signal and repeated our 
flashes at intervals. 

My anxiety, as a matter of fact, was groundless. I will quote 
Worsley's own account of what^happened to the Dudley Docker: 
" About midnight we lost sight of the James Caird with the Stan- 
comb Wills in tow, but not long after saw the light of the James 
Caird's compass-lamp, which Sir Ernest was flashing on their sail 
as a guide to us. We answered by lighting our candle under the 
tent and letting the light shine through. At the same time we 
got the direction of the wind and how we were hauling from my 
little pocket-compass, the boat's compass being smashed. With 
this candle our poor fellows lit their pipes, their only solace, as our 
raging thirst prevented us from eating anything. By this time 
we had got into a bad tide-rip, which, combined with the heavy, 
lumpy sea, made it almost impossible to keep the Dudley Docker 
from swamping. As it was we shipped several bad seas over the 



142 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

stern as well as abeam and over the bows, although we were ' on 
a wind.' Lees, who owned himself to be a rotten oarsman, made 
good here by strenuous baling, in which he was well seconded by 
Cheetham. Greenstreet, a splendid fellow, relieved me at the 
tiller and helped generally. He and Macklin were my right and 
left bowers as stroke-oars throughout. McLeod and Cheetham 
were two good sailors and oars, the former a typical old deep-sea 
salt and growler, the latter a pirate to his finger-tips. In the 
height of the gale that night Cheetham was buying matches from 
me for bottles of champagne, one bottle per match (too cheap; I 
should have charged him two bottles). The champagne is to be 
paid when he opens his ' pub ' in Hull and I am able to call that 
way. . . . We had now had one hundred and eight hours of toil, 
tumbling, freezing, and soaking, with little or no sleep. I think 
Sir Ernest, Wild, Greenstreet, and I could say that we had no 
sleep at all. Although it was sixteen months since we had been in 
a rough sea, only four men were actually seasick, but several others 
were off colour. 

"The temperature was 20° below freezing-point; fortunately, 
we were spared the bitterly low temperature of the previous night. 
Greenstreet's right foot got badly frost-bitten, but Lees restored it 
by holding it in his sweater against his stomach. Other men had 
minor frost-bites, due principally to the fact that their clothes 
were soaked through with salt water. . . . We were close to the 
land as the morning approached, but could see nothing of it 
through the snow and spindrift. My eyes began to fail me. Con- 
stant peering to windward, watching for seas to strike us, appeared 
to have given me a cold in the eyes. I could not see or judge dis- 
tance properly, and found myself falling asleep momentarily at the 
tiller. At 3 a.m. Greenstreet relieved me there. I was so 
cramped from long hours, cold, and wet, in the constrained position 
one was forced to assume on top of the gear and stores at the tiller, 
that the other men had to pull me amidships and straighten me 
out like a jack-knife, first rubbing my thighs, groin, and stomach. 

" At daylight we found ourselves close alongside the land, but 
the weather was so thick that we could not see where to make for 



ESCAPE FEOM THE ICE 143 

a landing. Having taken the tiller again after an hour's rest 
under the shelter (save the mark!) of the dripping tent, I ran 
the Dudley Docker off hefore the gale, following the coast around 
to the north. This course for the first hour was fairly risky, the 
heavy sea before which we were running threatening to swamp the 
boat, but by 8 a.m. we had obtained a slight lee from the land. 
Then I was able to keep her very close in, along a glacier front, 
with the object of picking up lumps of fresh-water ice as we sailed 
through them. Our thirst was intense. We soon had some ice 
aboard, and for the next hour and a half we sucked and chewed 
fragments of ice with greedy relish. 

" All this time we were coasting along beneath towering rocky 
cliffs and sheer glacier-faces, which offered not the slightest pos- 
sibility of landing anywhere. At 9.30 a.m. we spied a narrow, 
rocky beach at the base of some very high crags and cliffs, and 
made for it. To our joy, we sighted the James Caird and the 
Stanconib Wills sailing into the same haven just ahead of us. 
"We were so delighted that we gave three cheers, which were not 
heard aboard the other boats owing to the roar of the surf. How- 
ever, we soon joined them and were able to exchange experiences on 
the beach." 

Our experiences on the James Caird had been similar, although 
we had not been able to keep up to windward as well as the Dudley 
Docker had done. This was fortunate, as events proved, for the 
James Caird and Stancomh Wills went to leeward of the big bight 
the Dudley Docker entered and from which she had to turn out 
with the sea astern. "We thus avoided the risk of having the 
Stancomh Wills swamped in the following sea. The weather was 
very thick in the morning. Indeed at 7 a.m. we were right under 
the cliffs, which plunged sheer into the sea, before we saw them. 
"We followed the coast towards the north, and ever the precipitous 
cliffs and glacier-faces presented themselves to our searching eyes. 
The sea broke heavily against these walls and a landing would 
have been impossible under any conditions. "We picked up pieces 
of ice and sucked them eagerly. At 9 a.m. at the north-west 
end of the island we saw a narrow beach at the foot of the cliffs. 



144 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Outside lay a fringe of rocks heavily beaten by the surf but with a 
narrow channel showing as a break in the foaming water. I de- 
cided that we must face the hazards of this unattractive landing- 
place. Two days and nights without drink or hot food had played 
havoc with most of the men, and we could not assume that any 
safer haven lay within our reach. The Stancomh Wills was the 
lighter and handier boat — and I called her alongside with the 
intention of taking her through the gap first and ascertaining the 
possibilities of a landing before the James Caird made the venture. 
I was just climbing into the Stancomh Wills when I saw the 
Dudley Docker coming up astern under sail. The sight took a 
great load off my mind. 

Rowing carefully and avoiding the blind rollers which showed 
where sunken rocks lay, we brought the Stancomh Wills towards 
the opening in the reef. Then, with a few strong strokes we shot 
through on the top of a swell and ran the boat on to a stony beach. 
The next swell lifted her a little further. This was the first land- 
ing ever made on Elephant Island, and a thought came to me that 
the honour should belong to the youngest member of the expedition, 
so I told Blackborrow to jump over. He seemed to be in a state 
almost of coma and in order to avoid delay I helped him, perhaps 
a little roughly, over the side of the boat. He promptly sat down 
in the surf and did not move. Then I suddenly realized what I 
had forgotten, that both his feet were frost-bitten badly. Some of 
us jumped over and pulled him into a dry place. It was a rather 
rough experience for Blackborrow, but, anyhow, he is now able to 
say that he was the first man to sit on Elephant Island. Possibly 
at the time he would have been willing to forego any distinction 
of the kind. We landed the cook, with his blubber-stove, a supply 
of fuel, and some packets of dried milk, and also several of the men. 
Then the rest of us pulled out again to pilot the other boats through 
the channel. The James Caird was too heavy to be beached di- 
rectly, so after landing most of the men from the Dudley Docker 
and the Stancomh Wills I superintended the transhipment of the 
James Caird's gear outside the reef. Then we all made the pas- 
sage, and within a few minutes the three boats were aground. A 



ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 145 

curious spectacle met my eyes when I landed the second time. 
Some of the men were reeling about the beach as if they had found 
an imlimited supply of alcoholic liquor on the desolate shore. 
They were laughing uproariously, picking up stones and letting 
handfuls of pebbles trickle between their fingers like misers gloat- 
ing over hoarded gold. The smiles and laughter, which caused 
cracked lips to bleed afresh, and the gleeful exclamations at the 
sight of two live seals on the beach made me think for a moment 
of that glittering hour of childhood when the door is open at last 
and the Christmas-tree in all its wonder bursts upon the vision. I 
remember that Wild, who always rose superior to fortune, bad 
and good, came ashore as I was looking at the men and stood be- 
side me as easy and unconcerned as if he had stepped out of his 
car for a stroll in the park. 

Soon half a dozen of us had the stores ashore. Our strength 
was nearly exhausted and it was heavy work carrying our goods 
over the rough pebbles and rocks to the foot of the cliff, but 
we dare not leave anything within reach of the tide. We had to 
wade knee-deep in the icy water in order to lift the gear from the 
boats. When the work was done we pulled the three boats a little 
higher on the beach and turned gratefully to enjoy the hot drink 
that the cook had prepared. Those of us who were comparatively 
fit had to wait until the weaker members of the party had been sup- 
plied ; but every man had his pannikin of hot milk in the end, and 
never did anything taste better. Seal-steak and blubber followed, 
for the seals that had been careless enough to await our arrival on 
the beach had already given up their lives. There was no rest 
for the cook. The blubber-stove fiared and sputtered fiercely as 
he cooked, not one meal, but many meals, which merged into a day- 
long bout of eating. We drank water and ate seal-meat until 
every man had reached the limit of his capacity. 

The tents were pitched with oars for supports, and by 3 p.m. 
our camp was in order. The original framework of the tents had 
been cast adrift on one of the floes in order to save weight. Most 
of the men turned in early for a safe and glorious sleep, to be 
broken only by the call to take a turn on watch. The chief duty 



146 



CEOSSIWG THE SOUTH POLE 



of the watchman was to keep the blubber-stove alight, and each man 
on duty appeared to find it necessary to cook himself a meal during 
his watch, and a supper before he turned in again. 

Wild, Worsley, and Hurley accompanied me on an inspection 
of our beach before getting into the tents. I almost wished then 
that I had postponed the examination until after sleep, but the 
sense of caution that the uncertainties of polar travel implant in 



-To P. Wild about ZMiles 



N 








X.?«'./je; used as 

Landing here \ 
is/4/16 '. 



Shoal water 
& rocks 
uncovered at 
lowest tides 



To Clarence I. 



\ 



ROUGH SKETCH MAP OP LANDING PLACE AND FIEST CAMP AT 
C. VALENTINE, ELEPHANT ISLAND 



one's mind had made me uneasy. The outlook we found to be any- 
thing but cheering. Obvious signs showed that at spring tides the 
little beach would be covered by the water right up to the foot of the 
cliffs. In a strong north-easterly gale, such as we might expect 
to experience at any time, the waves would pound over the scant 
barrier of the reef and break against the sheer sides of the rocky 
wall behind us. Well-marked terraces showed the effect of other 
gales, and right at the back of the beach was a small bit of wreck- 
age not more than three feet long, rounded by the constant chafing 
it had endured. Obviously we must find some better resting-place. 



ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 147 

I decided not to share with the men the knowledge of the un- 
certainties of our situation until they had enjoyed the full sweet- 
ness of rest untroubled by the thought that at any minute they 
might be called to face peril again. The threat of the sea had 
been our portion during many, many days, and a respite meant 
much to weary bodies and jaded minds. 

The accompanying plan will indicate our exact position more 
clearly than I can describe it. The cliffs at the back of the beach 
were inaccessible except at two points where there were steep 
snow-slopes. We were not worried now about food, for, apart 
from our own rations, there were seals on the beach and we could 
see others in the water outside the reef. Every now and then one 
of the animals would rise in the shallows and crawl up on the 
beach, which evidently was a recognized place of resort for its 
kind. A small rocky island which protected us to some extent 
from the north-westerly wind carried a ringed-penguin rookery. 
These birds were of migratory habit "and might be expected to leave 
us before the winter set in fully, but in the meantime they were 
within our reach. These attractions, however, were overridden by 
the fact that the beach was open to the attack of wind and sea from 
the north-east and east. Easterly gales are more prevalent than 
western in that area of the Antarctic during the winter. Before 
turning in that night I studied the whole position and weighed 
every chance of getting the boats and our stores into a place of 
safety out of reach of the water. We ourselves might have clam- 
bered a little way up the snow-slopes, but we could not have taken 
the boats with us. The interior of the island was quite inac- 
cessible. We climbed up one of the slopes and found ourselves 
stopped soon by overhanging cliffs. The rocks behind the camp 
were much weathered, and we noticed the sharp, unworn boulders 
that had fallen from above. Clearly there was a danger from over- 
head if we camped at the back of the beach. We must move on. 
With that thought in mind I reached my tent and fell asleep on the 
rubbly ground, which gave a comforting sense of stability. The 
fairy princess who would not rest on her seven downy mattresses 
because a pea lay underneath the pile might not have understood 



148 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

the pleasure we all derived from the irregularities of the stones, 
which could not possibly break beneath us or drift away; the 
very searching lumps were sweet reminders of our safety. 

Early next morning (April 15) all hands were astir. The sun 
soon shone brightly and we spread out our wet gear to dry, till the 
beach looked like a particularly disreputable gipsy camp. The 
boots and clothing had suffered considerably during our travels. 
I had decided to send Wild along the coast in the Stancomh Wills 
to look for a new camping-ground and he and I discussed the de- 
tails of the journey while eating our breakfast of hot seal-steak and 
blubber. The camp I wished to find was one where the party could 
live for weeks or even months in safety, without danger from sea 
or wind in the heaviest winter gale. Wild was to proceed west- 
wards along the coast and was to take with him four of the fittest 
men, Marston, Crean, Vincent, and McCarthy. If he did not 
return before dark we were to light a flare, which would serve him 
as a guide to the entrance of the channel. The Stancomh Wills 
pushed off at 11 a.m. and quickly passed out of sight around the 
island. Then Hurley and I walked along the beach towards the 
west, climbing through a gap between the cliff and a great detached 
pillar of basalt. The narrow strip of beach was cumbered with 
masses of rock that had fallen from the cliffs. We struggled along 
for two miles or more in the search for a place where we could 
get the boats ashore and make a. permanent camp in the event of 
Wild's search proving fruitless, but after three hours' vain toil 
we had to turn back. We had found on the far side of the pillar 
of basalt a crevice in the rocks beyond the reach of all but the 
heaviest gales. Bounded pebbles showed that the seas reached the 
spot on occasions. Here I decided to depot ten cases of Bovril 
sledging ration in case of our having to move away quickly. We 
could come back for the food at a later date if opportunity offered. 

Returning to the camp, we found the men resting or attending 
to their gear. Clark had tried angling in the shallows off the 
rocks and had secured one or two small fish. The day passed 
quietly. Eusty needles were rubbed bright on the rocks and 
clothes were mended and darned. A feeling of tiredness — due, 



%"^ 




;"** 




J'lf.,i,,i/,iifh III/ t. Hiirlty 



MOUNT FilAN'K IKIULDHU, ELEIMIAN I' INLAND 



ESCAPE FEOM THE ICE 149 

I suppose, to reaction after the strain of the preceding days — 
overtook us, hut the rising tide, coming further up the beach than 
it had done on the day before, forced us to labour at the boats, 
which we hauled slowly to a higher ledge. We found it necessary 
to move our make-shift camp nearer the cliff. I portioned out 
the available ground for the tents, the galley, and other purposes, 
as every foot was of value. When night arrived the Stancomb 
Wills was still away, so I had a blubber-flare lit at the head of 
the channel. 

About 8 p.m. we heard a hail in the distance. We could see 
nothing, but soon like a pale ghost out of the darkness came the 
boat, the faces of the men showing white in the glare of the fire. 
Wild ran her on the beach with the swell, and within a couple of 
minutes we had dragged her to a place of safety. I was waiting 
Wild's report with keen anxiety, and my relief was great when he 
told me that he had discovered a sandy spit seven miles to the west, 
about 200 yds. long, running out at right angles to the coast and 
terminating at the seaward end in a mass of rock. A long snow- 
slope joined the spit at the shore end, and it seemed possible that 
a " dug-out " could be made in the snow. The spit, in any case, 
would be a great improvement on our narrow beach. Wild added 
that the place he described was the only possible camping-ground 
he had seen. Beyond, to the west and south-west lay a frowning 
line of cliffs and glaciers, sheer to the water's edge. lie thought 
that in very heavy gales either from the south-west or east the 
spit would be spray-blown, but that the seas would not actually 
break over it. The boats could be run up on a shelving beach. 

After hearing this good news I was eager to get away from the 
beach camp. The wind when blowing was favourable for the run 
along the coast. The weather had been fine for two days and a 
change might come at any hour. I told all hands that we would 
make a start early on the following morning. A newly killed seal 
provided a luxurious supper of steak and blubber, and then we 
slept comfortably till the dawn. 

The morning of April lY came fine and clear. The sea was 
smooth, but in the ofiBng we could see a line of pack, which seemed 



150 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

to be approaching. We had noticed already pack and bergs being 
driven by the current to the east and then sometimes coming back 
with a rush to the west. The current ran as fast as five miles an 
hour, and it was a set of this kind that had delayed Wild on his 
return from the spit. The rise and fall of the tide was only about 
five feet at this time, but the moon was making for full and the 
tides were increasing. The appearance of ice emphasized the im- 
portance of getting away promptly. It would be a serious matter 
to be prisoned on the beach by the pack. The boats were soon 
afloat in the shallows, and after a hurried breakfast all hands 
worked hard getting our gear and stores aboard. A mishap befell 
us when we were launching the boats. We were using oars as 
rollers, and three of these were broken, leaving us short for the 
journey that had still to be undertaken. The preparations took 
longer than I had expected; indeed, there seemed to be some re- 
luctance on the part of several men to leave the barren safety of the 
little beach and venture once more on the ocean. But the move 
was imperative, and by 11 a.m. we were away, the James Caird 
leading. Just as we rounded the small island occupied by the 
ringed penguins the " willy waw " swooped down from the 2000-ft. 
cliffs behind us, a herald of the southerly gale that was to spring 
up within half an hour. 

Soon we were straining at the oars with the gale on our bows. 
Never had we found a more severe task. The wind shifted from 
the south to the south-west, and the shortage of oars became a 
serious matter. The James Caird, being the heaviest boat, had to 
keep a full complement of rowers, while the Dudley Docker and the 
Stancomb Wills went short and took turns using the odd oar. A 
big swell was thundering against the cliffs and at times we were 
almost driven on to the rocks by swirling green waters. We had 
to keep close inshore in order to avoid being embroiled in the 
raging sea, which was lashed snow-white and quickened by the 
furious squalls into a living mass of sprays. After two hours of 
strenuous labour we were almost exhausted, but we were fortunate 
enough to find comparative shelter behind a point of rock. 
Overhead towered the sheer cliffs for hundreds of feet, the sea- 



ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 151 

birds that fluttered from the crannies of the rock dwarfed by the 
height. The boats rose and fell in the big swell, but the sea was 
not breaking in our little haven, and we rested there while we ate 
our cold ration. Some of the men had to stand by the oars in order 
to pole the boats off the cliff-face. 

After half an hour's pause I gave the order to start again. The 
Dudley Docker was pulling with three oars, as the Stancomb Wills 
had the odd one, and she fell away to leeward in a particularly 
heavy squall. I anxiously watched her battling up against wind 
and sea. It would have been useless to take the James Caird 
back to the assistance of the Dudley Docker since we were hard 
pressed to make any progress ourselves in the heavier boat. The 
only thing was to go ahead and hope for the best. All hands were 
wet to the skin again and many men were feeling the cold severely. 
We forged on slowly and passed inside a great pillar of rock stand- 
ing out to sea and towering to a height of about 2400 ft. A line 
of reef stretched between the shore and this pillar, and I thought 
as we approached that we would have to face the raging sea out- 
side ; but a break in the white surf revealed a gap in the reef and 
we laboured through, with the wind driving clouds of spray on our 
port beam. The Stancomb Wills followed safely. In the sting- 
ing spray I lost sight of the Dudley Docker altogether. It was 
obvious she would have to go outside the pillar as she was making 
so much leeway, but I could not see what happened to her and I 
dared not pause. It was a bad time. At last, about 5 p.m., the 
James Caird and the Stancomb Wills reached comparatively calm 
water and we saw Wild's beach just ahead of us. I looked back 
vainly for the Dudley Docker. 

Eocks studded the shallow water round the spit and the sea 
surged amongst them. I ordered the Stancomh Wills to run on 
to the beach at the place that looked smoothest, and in a few mo- 
ments the first boat was ashore, the men jumping out and holding 
her against the receding wave. Immediately I saw she was safe 
I ran the James Caird in. Some of us scrambled up the beach 
through the fringe of the surf and slipped the painter round a rock, 
so as to hold the boat against the backwash. Then we began to 



152 OKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

get the stores and gear out, working like men possessed, for the 
boats could not be pulled up till they had been emptied. The blub- 
ber-stove was quickly alight and the cook began to prepare a hot 
drink. We were labouring at the boats when I noticed Eickenson 
turn white and stagger in the surf. I pulled him out of reach of 
the water and sent him up to the stove, which had been placed 
in the shelter of some rocks. Mcllroy went to him. and found that 
his heart had been temporarily unequal to the strain placed upon it. 
He was in a bad way and needed prompt medical attention. There 
are some men who will do more than their share of work and who 
will attempt more than they are physically able to accomplish. 
Eickenson was one of these eager souls. He was suffering, like 
many other members of the Expedition, from bad salt-water boils. 
Our wrists, arms, and legs were attacked. Apparently this inflic- 
tion was due to constant soaking with sea-water, the chafing of wet 
clothes, and exposure. 

I was very anxious about the Dudley Docker, and my eyes as 
well as my thoughts were turned eastward as we carried the stores 
ashore; but within half an hour the missing boat appeared, 
labouring through the spume-white sea, and presently she reached 
the comparative calm of the bay. We watched her coming with 
that sense of relief that the mariner feels when he crosses the 
harbour-bar. The tide was going out rapidly, and Worsley 
lightened the Dudley Docker by placing some oases on an outer 
rock, where they were retrieved subsequently. Then he beached 
his boat, and with many hands at work we soon had our belongings 
ashore and our three craft above high-water mark. The spit was 
by no means an ideal camping-ground; it was rough, bleak, and 
inhospitable — just an acre or two of rock and shingle, with the 
sea foaming around it except where the snow-slope, running up to 
a glacier, formed the landward boundary. But some of the larger 
rocks provided a measure of shelter from the wind, and as we 
clustered round the blubber-stove, with the acrid smoke blowing 
into our faces, we were quite a cheerful company. After all, 
another stage of the homeward journey had been accomplished and 
we could afford to forget for an hour the problems of the future. 



ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 153 

Life was not so bad. We ate our evening meal while tlie snow 
drifted down from the surface of the glacier, and our chilled bodies 
grew warm. Then we dried a little tobacco at the stove and en- 
joyed our pipes before we crawled into our tents. The snow had 
made it impossible for us to find the tide-line and we were uncer- 
tain how far the sea was going to encroach upon our beach. I 
pitched my tent on the seaward side of the camp so that I might 
have early warning of danger, and, sure enough, about 2 a.m. a lit- 
tle wave forced its way under the tent-cloth. This was a practical 
demonstration that we had not gone far enough back from the sea, 
but in the semi-darkness it was difficult to see where we could find 
safety. Perhaps it was fortunate that experience had inured us to 
the impleasantness of sudden forced changes of camp. We took 
down the tents and re-pitched them close against the high rocks at 
the seaward end of the spit, where large boulders made an uncom- 
fortable resting-place. Snow was falling heavily. Then all 
hands had to assist in pulling the boats further up the beach, and 
at this task we suffered a serious misfortune. Two of our four 
bags of clothing had been placed under the bilge of the James 
Cairdy and before we realized the danger a wave had lifted the 
bdat and carried the two bags back into the surf. We had no 
chance of recovering them. This accident did not complete the 
tale of the night's misfortunes. The big eight-man tent was blown 
to pieces in the early morning. Some of the men who had oc- 
cupied it took refuge in other tents, but several remained in their 
sleeping-bags under the fragments of cloth until it was time to 
turn out. 

A southerly gale was blowing on the morning of April 18 and 
the drifting snow was covering everything. The outlook was 
cheerless indeed, but much work had to be done and we could not 
yield to the desire to remain in the sleeping-bags. Some sea- 
elephants were lying about the beach above high-water mark, and 
we killed several of the younger ones for their meat and blubber. 
The big tent could not be replaced, and in order to provide shelter 
for the men we turned the Dudley Docker upside down and wedged 
up the weather side with boulders. We also lashed the painter 



154 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

and stern-rope round the heaviest rocks we could find, so as to 
guard against the danger of the boat being moved by the wind. 
The two bags of clothing were bobbing about amid the brash and 
glacier-ice to the windward side of the spit, and it did not seem 
possible to reach them. The gale continued all day, and the fine 
drift from the surface of the glacier was added to the big flakes of 
snow falling from the sky. I made a careful examination of the 
spit with the object of ascertaining its possibilities as a camping- 
ground. Apparently some of the beach lay above high-water mark 
and the rocks that stood above the shingle gave a measure of shelter. 
It would be possible to mount the snow-slope towards the glacier 
in fine weather, but I did not push my exploration in that direction 
during the gale. At the seaward end of the spit was the mass of 
rock already mentioned. A few thousand ringed penguins, with 
some gentoos, were on these rocks, and we had noted this fact with 
a great deal of satisfaction at the time of our landing. The ringed 
penguin is by no means the best of the penguins from the point 
of view of the hungry traveller, but it represents food. At 8 a.m. 
that morning I noticed the ringed penguins mustering in orderly 
fashion close to the water's edge, and thought that they were pre- 
paring for the daily fishing excursion ; but presently it became ap- 
parent that some important move was on foot. They were going 
to migrate, and with their departure much valuable food would 
pass beyond our reach. Hurriedly we armed ourselves with pieces 
of sledge-runner and other improvised clubs, and started towards 
the rookery. We were too late. The leaders gave their squawk 
of command and the columns took to the sea in unbroken ranks. 
Following their leaders, the penguins dived through the surf and 
reappeared in the heaving water beyond. A very few of the 
weaker birds took fright and made their way back to the beach, 
where they fell victims later to our needs ; but the main army went 
northwards and we saw them no more. We feared that the gentoo 
penguins might follow the example of their ringed cousins, but they 
stayed with us; ^apparently they had not the migratory habit. 
They were comparatively few in number, but from time to time 
they would come in from the sea and walk up our beach. The 



ESCAPE FROM THE ICE 155 

gentoo is the most strongly marked of all the smaller varieties of 
penguins as far as colouring is . concerned, and it far surpasses 
the adelie in weight of legs and breast, the points that particularly 
appealed to us. 

The deserted rookery was sure to be above high-water mark at 
all times, and we mounted the rocky ledge in search of a place to 
pitch our tents. The penguins knew better than to rest where the 
sea could reach them even when the highest tide was supported by 
the strongest gale. The disadvantages of a camp on the rookery 
were obvious. The smell was strong, to put it mildly, and was 
not likely to grow less pronounced when the warmth of our bodies 
thawed the surface. But our choice of places was not wide, and 
that afternoon we dug out a site for two tents in the debris of 
the rookery, levelling it off with snow and rocks. My tent. No. 1, 
was pitched close under, the cliff, and there during my stay on 
Elephant Island I lived. Crean's tent was close by, and the other 
three tents, which had fairly clean snow under them, were some 
yards away. a f The fifth tent was a ramshackle affair. The ma- 
terial of th^feSm eight-man tent had been dravsm over a rough 
framework of oars, and shelter of a kind provided for the men who 
occupied it. 

The arrangement of our camp, the checking of our gear, the 
killing and skinning of seals and sea-elephants occupied us during 
the day, and we took to our sleeping-bags early. I and my com- 
panions in No. 1 tent were not destined to spend a pleasant night. 
The heat of our bodies soon melted the snow and refuse beneath 
us, and the floor of the tent became an evil-smelling yellow mud. 
The snow drifting from the cliff above us weighted the sides of the 
tent and during the night a particularly stormy gust brought our 
little home down on top of us. We stayed underneath the snow- 
laden cloth till the morning, for it seemed a hopeless business to 
set about re-pitching the tent amid the storm that was raging in 
the darkness of the night. 

The weather was still bad on the morning of April 19. Some 
of the men were showing signs of demoralization. They were 
disinclined to leave the tents when the hour came for turning out, 



156 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

and it was apparent they were thinking more of the discomforts 
of the moment than of the good fortune that had brought us to 
sound ground and comparative safety. The condition of the gloves 
and headgear shown me by some discouraged men illustrated the 
proverbial carelessness of the sailor. The articles had frozen stiff 
during the night, and the owners considered, it appeared, that this 
state of affairs provided them with a grievance, or at any rate gave 
them the right to grumble. They said they wanted dry clothes and 
that their health would not admit of their doing any work. Only 
by rather drastic methods were they induced to turn to. Frozen 
gloves and helmets undoubtedly are very uncomfortable, and the 
proper thing is to keep these articles thawed by placing them inside 
one's shirt during the night. 

The southerly gale, bringing with it much snow, was so severe 
that as I went along the beach to kill a seal I was blown down by 
a gust. The cooking-pots from ITo. 2 tent took a flying run into 
the sea at the same moment. A case of provisions which had been 
placed on them to keep them safe had been capsized by a squall. 
These pots, fortunately, were not essential, since nearly aU our 
cooking was done over the blubber-stove. The galley was set up 
by the rocks close to my tent, in a hole we had dug through the 
debris of the penguin rookery. Cases of stores gave some shelter 
from the wind and a spread sail kept some of the snow off the 
cook when he was at work. He had not much idle time. The 
amount of seal and sea-elephant steak and blubber consumed by 
our hungry party was almost incredible. He did not lack as- 
sistance — the neighbourhood of the blubber-stove had attractions 
for every member of the party ; but he earned everybody's gratitude 
by his unflagging energy in preparing meals that to us at least were 
savoury and satisfying. Frankly, we needed all the comfort that 
the hot food could give us. The icy fingers of the gale searched 
every cranny of our beach and pushed relentlessly through our 
worn garments and tattered tents. The snow, drifting from the 
glacier and falling from the skies, swathed us and our gear and 
set traps for our stumbling feet. The rising sea beat against the 
rocks and shingle and tossed fragments of floe-ice within a few 



ESCAPE FKOM THE ICE 157 

feet of our boats. Once during the morning the sun shone through 
the racing clouds and we had a glimpse of blue sky; but the 
promise of fair weather was not redeemed. The consoling feature 
of the situation was that our camp was safe. We could endure the 
discomforts, and I felt that all hands would be benefited by the 
opportunity for rest and recuperation. 



CHAPTEK IX 

THE BOAT JOURNEY 

The increasing sea made it necessary for us to drag the boats 
further up the beach. This was a task for all hands, and after 
much labour we got the boats into safe positions among the rocks 
and made fast the painters to big boulders. Then I discussed with 
Wild and Worsley the chances of reaching South Georgia before 
the winter locked the seas against us. Some effort had to be made 
to secure relief. Privation and exposure had left their mark on 
the party, and the health and mental condition of several men were 
causing me serious anxiety. Blackborrow's feet, which had been 
fnost-bitten during the boat journey, were in a bad way, and the 
two doctors feared that an operation would be necessary. They 
told me that the toes would have to be amputated unless animation 
could be restored within a short period. Then the food-supply was 
a vital consideration. We had left ten cases of provisions in the 
crevice of the rocks at our first camping-place on the island. An 
examination of our stores showed that we had full rations for the 
whole party for a period of five weeks. The rations could be 
spread over three months on a reduced allowance and probably 
would be supplemented by seals and sea-elephants to some extent. 
I did not dare to count with full confidence on supplies of meat and 
blubber, for the animals seemed to have deserted the beach and the 
winter was near. Our stocks included three seals and two and a 
half skins (with blubber attached). We were mainly dependent 
on the blubber for fuel, and, after making a preliminary survey of 
the situation, I decided that the party must be limited to one hot 
meal a day. 

A boat journey in search of relief was necessary and must not be 
delayed. That conclusion was forced upon me. The nearest port 

158 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 159 

where assistance could certainly be secured was Port Stanley, in 
tlie Falkland Islands, 540 miles away, but we could scarcely hope 
to beat up against the prevailing north-westerly wind in a frail 
and weakened boat with a small sail area. South Georgia was 
over 800 miles away, but lay in the area of the west winds, and I 
could count upon finding whalers at any of the whaling-stations on 
the east coast. A boat party might make the voyage and be back 
with relief within a month, provided that the sea was clear of ice 
and the boat survive the great seas. It was not difficult to decide 
that South Georgia must be the objective, and I proceeded to plan 
ways and means. The hazards of a boat journey across 800 miles 
of stormy sub-Antarctic Ocean were obvious, but I calculated that 
at worst the venture would add nothing to the risks of the men 
left on the island. There would be fewer mouths to feed during 
the winter and the boat would not require to take more than one 
month's provisions for six men, for if we did not make South 
Georgia in that time we were sure to go under. A consideration 
that had weight with me was that there was no chance at all of any 
search being made for us on Elephant Island. 

The case required to be argued in some detail, since all hands 
knew that the perils of the proposed journey were extreme. The 
risk was justified solely by our urgent need of assistance. The 
ocean south of Cape Horn in the middle of May is known to be 
the most tempestuous storm-swept area of water in the world. 
The weather then is unsettled, the skies are dull and overcast, and 
the gales are almost unceasing. We had to face these conditions 
in a small and weather-beaten boat, already strained by the work 
of the months that had passed. Worsley and Wild realized that 
the attempt must be made, and they both asked to be allowed to 
accompany me on the voyage. I told Wild at once that he would 
have to stay behind. I relied upon him to hold the party together 
while I was away and to make the best of his way to Deception 
Island with the men in the spring in the event of our failure to 
bring help. Worsley I would take with me, for I had a very high 
opinion of his accuracy and quickness as a navigator, and especially 
in the snapping and working out of positions in difficult circum- 



160 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

stances — an opinion that was only enhanced during the actual 
journey. Four other men would be required, and I decided to 
call for volunteers, although, as a matter of fact, I pretty well 
knew which of the people I would select. Crean I proposed to 
leave on the island as a right-hand man for Wild, but he begged 
so hard to be allowed to come in the boat that, after consultation 
with Wild, I promised to take him. I called the men together, 
explained my plan, and asked for volunteers. Many came forward 
at once. Some were not fit enough for the work that would have 
to be done, and others would not have been much use in the boat 
since they were not seasoned sailors, though the experiences of 
recent months entitled them to some consideration as seafaring 
men. Mcllroy and Macklin were both anxious to go but realized 
that their duty lay on the island with the sick men. They sug- 
gested that I should take Blackborrow in order that he might have 
shelter and warmth as quickly as possible, but I had to veto this 
idea. It would be hard enough for fit men to live in the boat. In- 
deed, I did not see how a sick man, lying helpless in the bottom 
of the boat, could possibly survive in the heavy weather we were 
sure to encounter. I finally selected McN^eish, McCarthy, and 
Vincent in addition to Worsley and Crean. The crew seemed 
a strong one, and as I looked at the men I felt confidence 
increasing. 

The decision made, I walked through the blizzard with Worsley 
and Wild to examine the James Caird. The 20-ft. boat had never 
looked big; she appeared to have shrunk in some mysterious way 
when I viewed her in the light of our new undertaking. She was 
an ordinary ship's whaler, fairly strong, but showing signs of the 
strains she had endured since the crushing of the Endurance. 
Where she was holed in leaving the pack was, fortunately, about 
the water-line and easily patched. Standing beside her, we 
glanced at the fringe of the storm-swept, tiunultuous sea that 
formed our path. Clearly, our voyage would be a big adventure. 
I called the carpenter and asked him if he could do anything to 
make the boat more seaworthy. He first inquired if he was to go 
with me, and seemed quite pleased when I said " Yes." He; was 



THE BOAT JOURlSrEY 161 

over fifty years of age and not altogether fit, but he had a good 
knowledge of sailing-boats and was very quick. McCarthy said 
that he could contrive some sort of covering for the James Caird 
if he might use the lids of the cases and the four sledge-runners 
that we had lashed inside the boat for use in the event of a land- 
ing on Graham Land at Wilhehnina Bay. This bay, at one time 
the goal of our desire, had been left behind in the course of our 
drift, but we had retained the runners. The carpenter proposed to 
complete the covering with some of our canvas, and he set about 
making his plans at once. 

Noon had passed and the gale was more severe than ever. We 
could not proceed with our preparations that day. The tents 
were suffering in the wind and the sea was rising. We made our 
way to the snow-slope at the shoreward end of the spit, with the in- 
tention of digging a hole in the snow large enough to provide 
shelter for the party. I had an idea that Wild and his men might 
camp there during my absence, since it seemed impossible that the 
tents could hold together for many more days against the attacks 
of the wind; but an examination of the spot indicated that any 
hole we could dig probably would be filled quickly by the drift. At 
dark, about 5 p.m., we all turned in, after a supper consisting of a 
pannikin of hot milk, one of our precious biscuits, and a cold pen- 
guin leg each. 

The gale was stronger than ever on the following morning 
(April 20). No work could be done. Blizzard and snow, anow 
and blizzard, sudden lulls and fierce returns. During the lulls we 
could see on the far horizon to the north-east bergs of all shapes 
and sizes driving along before the gale, and the sinister appearance 
of the swift-moving masses made us thankful indeed that, instead 
of battling with the storm amid the ice, we were required only to 
face the drift from the glaciers and the inland heights. The gusts 
might throw us off our feet, but at least we fell on solid ground and 
not on the rocking floes. Two seals came up on the beach that 
day, one of them within ten yards of my tent. So urgent was our 
need of food and blubber that I called all hands and organized a 
line of beaters instead of simply walking up to the seal and hitting 



162 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

it on the nose. We were prepared to fall upon this seal en masse 
if it attempted to escape. The kill was made with a pick-handle, 
and in a few minutes five days' food and six days' fuel were stowed 
in a place of safety among the boulders above high-water mark. 
During this day the cook, who had worked well on the floe and 
throughout the boat journey, suddenly collapsed. I happened to 
be at the galley at the moment and saw him fall. I pulled him 
down the slope to his tent and pushed him into its shelter with 
orders to his tent-mates to keep him in his sleeping-bag until I 
allowed him to come out or the doctors said he was fit enough. 
Then I took out to replace the cook one of the men who had ex- 
pressed a desire to lie down and die. The task of keeping the 
galley fire alight was both difficult and strenuous, and it took his 
thoughts away from the chances of immediate dissolution. In 
fact, I found him a little later gravely concerned over the drying 
of a naturally not over-clean pair of socks which were hung up in 
close proximity to our evening milk. Occupation had brought his 
thoughts back to the ordinary cares of life. 

There was a lull in the bad weather on April 21, and the car- 
penter started to collect material for the decking of the James 
Caird. He fitted the mast of the Stancorrib Wills fore and aft in- 
side the James Caird as a hog-back and thus strengthened the keel 
with the object of preventing our boat "hogging" — that is, 
buckling in heavy seas. He had not sufficient wood to provide a 
deck, but by using the sledge-runners and box-lids he made a frame- 
work extending from the forecastle aft to a well. It was a patched- 
up affair, but it provided a base for a canvas covering. We had 
a bolt of canvas frozen stiff, and this material had to be cut and 
then thawed out over the blubber-stove, foot by foot, in order that 
it might be sewn into the form of a cover. When it had been 
nailed and screwed into position it certainly gave an appearance 
of safety to the boat, though I had an uneasy feeling that it bore 
a strong likeness to stage scenery, which may look like a granite 
wall and is in fact nothing better than canvas and lath. As events 
proved, the covering served its purpose well. We certainly could 
not have lived through the voyage without it. 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 163 

Another fierce gale was blowing on April 22, interfering with 
our preparations for the voyage. The cooker from No. 5 tent 
came adrift in a gust, and, although it was chased to the water's 
edge, it disappeared for good. Blackborrow's feet were giving him 
much pain, and Mcllroy and Maeklin thought it would be neces- 
sary for them to operate soon. They were under the impression 
then that they had no chloroform, but they found some subse- 
quently in the medicine-chest after we had left. Some cases of 
stores left on a rock off the spit on the day of our arrival were 
retrieved during this day. We were setting aside stores for the 
boat journey and choosing the essential equipment from the scanty 
stock at our disposal. Two ten-gallon casks had to be filled with 
water melted down from ice collected at the foot of the glacier. 
This was a rather slow business. The blubber-stove was kept 
going all night, and the watchmen emptied the water into casks 
from the pot in which the ice was melted. A working party started 
to dig a hole in the snow-slope about forty feet above sea-level with 
the object of providing a site for a camp. They made fairly good 
progress at first, but the snow drifted down unceasingly from the 
inland ice, and in the end the party had to give up the project. 

The weather was fine on April 23, and we hurried forward 
our preparations. It was on this day I decided finally that the 
crew for the James Caird should consist of Worsley, Crean, 
MclSTeish, McCarthy, Vincent, and myself. A storm came on 
about noon, with driving snow and heavy squalls. Occasionally 
the air would clear for a few minutes, and we could see a line of 
pack-ice, five miles out, driving across from west to east. This 
sight increased my anxiety to get away quickly. Winter was ad- 
vancing, and soon the pack might close completely round the island 
and stay our departure for days or even for weeks. I did not think 
that ice would remain around Elephant Island continuously during 
the winter, since the strong winds and fast currents would keep 
it in motion. We had noticed ice and bergs going past at the rate 
of four or five knots. A certain amount of ice was held up about 
the end of our spit, but the sea was clear where the boat would 
have to be launched. 



164 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Worsley, Wild, and I climbed to the summit of the seaward 
rocks and examined the ice from a better vantage-point than the 
beach offered. The belt of pack outside appeared to be sufficiently 
broken for our purposes, and I decided that, unless the conditions 
forbade it, we would make a start in the James Cadrd on the follow- 
ing morning. Obviously the pack might close at any time. This 
decision made, I spent the rest of the day looking over the boat, 
gear, and stores, and discussing plans with Worsley and Wild. 

Our last night on the solid ground of Elephant Island was cold 
and uncomfortable. We turned out at dawn and had breakfast. 
Then we launched the Stcmcomb Wills and loaded her with stores, 
gear, and ballast, which would be transferred to the James Caird 
when the heavier boat had been launched. The ballast consisted 
of bags made from blankets and filled with sand, making a total 
weight of about 1000 lbs. In addition we had gathered a number 
of boulders and about 250 lbs. of ice, which would supplement our 
two casks of water. 

The stores taken in the James Caird, which would last six men 
for one month, were as follows : 

30 boxes of matches. 

61/2 gallons paraffin. 

1 tin methylated spirit. 
10 boxes of flamers. 

1 box of blue lights. 

2 Primus stoves with spare parts and prickers. 

1 Nansen aluminium cooker. 
6 sleeping bags. 

A few spare socks. 

Eew candles and some blubber-oil in an oil bag. 

Food: 

3 cases sledging rations. 

2 cases nut food. 
2 cases biscuits. 

1 case lump sugar. 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 1&5 



30 packets of Trmnilk. 

1 tin of Bovril cubes. 

1 tin of Cerebos salt. 
36 gallons of water. 
250 lbs. of ice. 



Instruments : 




Sextant. 


Sea-anchor. 


Binoculars. 


Ctarts. 


Prismatic compass. 


Aneroid. 



The swell was slight when the Stancomb Wills was launched 
and the boat got under way without any difBcuIty; but half an 
hour later, when we were pulling down the James Caird,. the swell 
increased suddenly. Apparently the movement of the ice out- 
side had made an opening and allowed the sea to run in without 
being blanketed by the line of pack. The swell made things diffi- 
cult. Many of us got wet to the waist while dragging the boat 
out — a serious matter in that climate. When the James Caird 
was afloat in the surf she nearly capsized among the rocks before 
we could get her clear, and Vincent and the carpenter, who were 
on the deck, were thrown into the water. This was really bad 
luck, for the two men would have small chance of drying their 
clothes after we had got under way. Hurley, who had the eye 
of the professional photographer for " incidents," secured a picture 
of the upset, and I firmly believe that he would have liked the two 
unfortunate men to remain in the water until he could get a 
" snap " at close quarters ; but we hauled them out immediately, 
regardless of his feelings. 

The James Caird was soon clear of the breakers. We used all 
the available ropes as a long painter to prevent her drifting away 
to the north-east, and then the Stancomb Wills came alongside, 
transferred her load, and went back to the shore for more. As 
she was being beached this time the sea took her stem and half 
filled her with water. She had to be turned over and emptied 
before the return journey could be made. Every member of the 



166 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

crew of the Stancomh Wills was wet to the skin. The water- 
casks were towed behind the Stancomh Wills on this second 
journey, and the swell, which was increasing rapidly, drove the 
boat on to the rocks, where one of the casks was slightly stove in. 
This accident proved later to be a serious one, since some sea-water 
had entered the cask and the contents were now brackish. 

By midday the James Caird was ready for the voyage. Vincent 
and the carpenter had secured some dry clothes by exchange with 
members of the shore party (I heard afterwards -that it was a full 
fortnight before the soaked garments were finally dried), and the 
boat's crew was standing by waiting for the order to cast off. A 
moderate westerly breeze was blowing. I went ashore in the 
Stancomh Wills and had a last word with Wild, who was remain- 
ing in full command, with directions as to his course of action in 
the event of our failure to bring relief, but I practically left the 
whole situation and scope of action and decision to his own judg- 
ment, secure in the knowledge that he would act wisely. I told 
him that I trusted the party to him and said good-bye to the men. 
Then we pushed off for the last time, and within a few minutes I 
was aboard the James Caird. The crew of the Stancomh Wills 
shook hands with us as the boats bumped together and offered us 
the last good wishes. Then, setting our jib, we cut the painter 
and moved away to the north-east. The men who were staying 
behind made a pathetic little group on the beach, with the grim 
heights of the island behind them and the sea seething at their 
feet, but they waved to us and gave three hearty cheers. There 
was hope in their hearts and they trusted us to bring the help that 
they needed. 

I had all sails set, and the James Caird quickly dipped the 
beach and its line of dark figures. The westerly wind took us 
rapidly to the line of pack, and as we entered it I stood up with my 
arm around the mast, directing the steering, so as to avoid the 
great lumps of ice that were flung about in the heave of the sea. 
The pack thickened and we were forced to turn almost due east, 
running before the wind towards a gap I had seen in the morning 
from the high ground. I could not see the gap now, but we had 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 167 

come out on its bearing and I was prepared to find that it had 
been influenced by the easterly drift. At four o'clock in the after- 
noon we found the channel, much narrower than it had seemed 
in the morning but still navigable. Dropping sail, we rowed 
through without touching the ice anywhere, and by 5.30 p.m. we 
were clear of the pack with open water before us. We passed one 
more piece of ice in the darkness an hour later, but the pack lay 
behind, and with a fair wind swelling the sails we steered our 
little craft through the night, our hopes centred on our distant 
goal. The swell was very heavy now, and when the time came for 
our first evening meal we found great difficulty in keeping the 
Primus lamp alight and preventing the hoosh splashing out of the 
pot. Three men were needed to attend to the cooking, one man 
holding the lamp and two men guarding the aluminium cooking- 
pot, which had to be lifted clear of the Primus whenever the move- 
ment of the boat threatened to cause a disaster. Then the lamp 
had to be protected from water, for sprays were coming over the 
bows and our flimsy decking was by no means water-tight. All 
these operations were conducted in the confined space under the 
decking, where the men lay or knelt and adjusted themselves as 
best they could to the angles of our cases and ballast. It was 
uncomfortable, but we found consolation in the reflection that with- 
out the decking we could not have used the cooker at all. 

The tale of the next sixteen days is one of supreme strife amid 
heaving waters. The sub-Antarctic Ocean lived up to its evil 
winter reputation. I decided to run north for at least two days 
while the wind held and so get into warmer weather before turning 
to the east and laying a course for South Georgia. We took two- 
hourly spells at the tiller. The men who were not on watch 
crawled into the sodden sleeping-bags and tried to forget their 
troubles for a period; but there was no comfort in the boat. The 
bags and cases seemed to be alive in the unfailing knack of present- 
ing their most uncomfortable angles to our rest-seeking bodies. A 
man might imagine for a moment that he had found a position of 
ease, but always discovered quickly that some unyielding point 
was impinging on muscle or bone. The first night aboard the boat 



168 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

was one of acute discomfort for us all, and we were heartily glad 
when the dawn came and we could set about the preparation of a 
hot breakfast. 

This record of the voyage to South Georgia is based upon scanty 
notes made day by day. The notes dealt usually with the bare 
facts of distances, positions, and weather, but our memories re- 
tained the incidents of the passing days in a period never to be for- 
gotten. By running north for the first two days I hoped to get 
warmer weather and also to avoid lines of pack that might be ex- 
tending beyond the main body. We needed all the advantage 
that we could obtain from the higher latitude for sailing on the 
great circle, but we had to be cautious regarding possible ice- 
streams. Cramped in our narrow quarters and continually wet 
by the spray, we suffered severely from cold throughout the 
journey. We fought the seas and the winds and at the same time 
had a daily struggle to" keep ourselves alive. At times we were 
in dire peril. Generally we were upheld by the knowledge that 
we were making progress towards the land where we would be, 
but there were days and nights when we lay hove to, drifting across 
the storm-whitened seas and watching with eyes interested rather 
than apprehensive the uprearing masses of water, flung to and 
fro by Nature in the pride of her strength. Deep seemed the 
valleys when we lay between the reeling seas. High were the hills 
when we perched momentarily on the tops of giant combers. 
Nearly always there were gales. So small was our boat and so 
great were the seas that often our sail flapped idly in the calm 
between the crests of two waves. Then we would climb the next 
slope and catch the full fury of the gale where the wool-like 
whiteness of the breaking water surged around us. We had our 
moments of laughter — rare, it is true, but hearty enough. Even 
when cracked lips and swollen mouths checked the outward and 
visible signs of amuseiiient we could see a joke of the primitive 
kind. Man's sense of humour is always most easily stirred by the 
petty misfortunes of his neighbours, and I shall never forget 
Worsley's efforts on one occasion to place the hot aluminium stand 
on top of the Primus stove after it had fallen off in an extra heavy 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 169 

roll. With his frost-bitten fingers he picked it up, dropped it, 
picked it up again, and toyed with it gingerly as though it were 
some fragile article of lady's wear. We laughed, or rather gur- 
gled with laughter. 

The wind came up strong and worked into a gale from the north- 
west on the third day out. We stood away to the east. The in- 
creasing seas discovered the weaknesses of our decking. The con-' 
tinuous blows shifted the box-lids and sledge-runners so that the 
canvas sagged down and accumulated water. Then icy trickles, 
distinct from the driving sprays, poured fore and aft into the 
boat. The nails that the carpenter had extracted from cases at 
Elephant Island and used to fasten down the battens were too short 
to make firm the decking. We did what we could to secure it, but 
our means were very limited, and the water continued to enter the 
boat at a dozen points. Much baling was necessary, and nothing 
that we could do prevented our gear from becoming sodden. The 
searching runnels from the canvas were really more unpleasant 
than the sudden definite douches of the sprays. Lying under the 
thwarts during watches below, we tried vainly to avoid them. 
There were no dry places in the boat, and at last we simply covered 
our heads with our Burberrys and endured the all-pervading water. 
The baling was work for the watch. Real rest we had none. The 
perpetual motion of the boat made repose impossible; we were 
cold, sore, and anxious. We moved on hands and knees in the 
semi-darkness of the day under the decking. The darkness was 
complete by 6 p.m., and not until 7 a.m. of the following day 
could we see one another under the thwarts. We had a few scraps 
of candle, and they were preserved carefully in order that we 
might have light at meal-times. There was one fairly dry spot 
in the boat, under the solid original decking at the bows, and we 
managed to protect some of our biscuit from the salt water; but 
I do not think any of us got the taste of salt out of our mouths 
during the voyage. 

The difficulty of movement in the boat would have had its 
humorous side if it had not involved us in so many aches and pains. 
We had to crawl under the thwarts in order to move along the 



lYO CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

boat, and our knees suffered considerably. When a watch turned 
out it was necessary for me to direct each man by name when and 
where to move, since if all hands had crawled about at the same 
time the result would have been dire confusion and many bruises. 
Then there was the trim of the boat to be considered. The order 
of the watch was four hours on and four hours off, three men to 
the watch. One man had the tiller-ropes, the second man attended 
to the sail, and the third baled for all he was worth. Sometimes 
when the water in the boat had been reduced to reasonable propor- 
tions, our pump could be used. This pump, which Hurley had 
made from the Flinder's bar case of our ship's standard compass, 
was quite effective, though its capacity was not large. The man 
who was attending the sail could pump into the big outer cooker, 
which was lifted and emptied overboard when filled. We had a 
device by which the water could go direct from the pump into 
the sea through a hole in the gunwale, but this hole had to be 
blocked at an early stage of the voyage, since we found that it 
admitted water when the boat rolled. 

While a new watch was shivering in the wind and spray, the 
men who had been relieved groped hurriedly among the soaked 
sleeping-bags and tried to steal a little of the warmth created by 
the last occupants; but it was not always possible for us to find 
even this comfort when we went off watch. The boulders that we 
had taken aboard for ballast had to be shifted continually in order 
to trim the boat and give access to the pump, which became choked 
with hairs from the moulting sleeping-bags and finneskoe. The 
four reindeer-skin sleeping-bags shed their hair freely owing to 
the continuous wetting, and soon became quite bald in appearance. 
The moving of the boulders was weary and painful work. We 
came to know every one of the stones by sight and touch, and I 
have vivid memories of their angular peculiarities even to-day. 
They might have been of considerable interest as geological speci- 
mens to a scientific man under happier conditions. As ballast 
they were useful. As weights to be moved about in cramped 
quarters they were simply appalling. They spared no portion of 
our poor bodies. Another of our troubles, worth mention here, 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 171 

was the chafing of our legs by our wet clothes, which had not been 
changed now for seven months. The insides of our thighs were 
rubbed raw, and the one tube of Hazeline cream in our medicine- 
chest did not go far in alleviating our pain, which was increased by 
the bite of the salt water. We thought at the time that we never 
slept. The fact was that we would dose off uncomfortably, to be 
aroused quickly by some new ache or another call to effort. My 
own share of the general unpleasantness was accentuated by a finely 
developed bout of sciatica. I had become possessor of this origi- 
nally on the floe several months earlier. 

Our meals were regular in spite of the gales. Attention to this 
point was essential, since the conditions of the voyage made in- 
creasing calls upon our vitality. Breakfast, at 8 a.m., consisted 
of a pannikin of hot hoosh made from Bovril sledging ration, two 
biscuits, and some lumps of sugar. Lunch came at 1 p.m., and 
comprised Bovril sledging ration, eaten raw, and a pannikin of hot 
milk for each man. Tea, at 5 p.m., had the same menu. Then 
during the night we had a hot drink, generally of milk. The 
meals were the bright beacons in those cold and stormy days. The 
glow of warmth and comfort produced by the food and drink made 
optimists of us all. We had two tins of Virol, which we were 
keeping for an emergency; but, finding ourselves in need of an 
oil-lamp to eke out our supply of candles, we emptied one of the 
tins in the manner that most appealed to us, and fitted it with a 
wick made by shredding a bit of canvas. When this lamp was 
filled with oil it gave a certain amount of light, though it was 
easily blown out, and was of great assistance to us at night. We 
were fairly well off as regarded fuel, since we had 6% gallons of 
petroleum. 

A severe south-westerly gale on the fourth day out forced us to 
heave to. I would have liked to have run before the wind, but the 
sea was very high and the James Caird was in danger of broaching 
to and swamping. The delay was vexatious, since up to that time 
we had been making sixty or seventy miles a day, good going with 
our limited sail area. We hove to under double-reefed mainsail 
and our little jigger, and waited for the gale to blow itself out. 



172 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

During that afternoon we saw bits of wreckage, the remains prob- 
ably of some unfortunate vessel that had failed to weather the 
strong gales south of Cape Horn. The weather conditions did 
not improve, and on the fifth day out the gale was so fierce that we 
were compelled to take in the double-reefed mainsail and hoist 
our small jib instead. We put out a sea-anchor to keep the James 
Caird's head up to the sea. This anchor consisted of a triangular 
canvas bag fastened to the end of the painter and allowed to stream 
out from the bows. The boat was high enough to catch the wind, 
and, as she drifted to leeward, the drag of the anchor kept her 
head to windward. Thus our boat took most of the seas more or 
less end on. Even then the crests of the waves often would curl 
right over us and we shipped a great deal of water, which neces- 
sitated unceasing baling and pumping. Looking out abeam, 
we would see a hollow like a tunnel formed as the crest of a big 
wave toppled over on to the swelling body of water. A thousand 
times it appeared as though the James Caird must be engulfed; 
jbut the boat lived. The south-westerly gale had its birthplace 
above the Antarctic Continent, and its freezing breath lowered the 
temperature far towards zero. The sprays froze upon the boat 
and gave bows, sides, and decking a heavy coat of mail. This 
accumulation of ice reduced the buoyancy of the boat, and to that 
extent was an added peril; but it possessed a notable advantage 
from one point of view. The water ceased to drop and trickle 
from the canvas, and the spray came in solely at the well in the 
after part of the boat. We could not allow the load of ice to grow 
beyond a certain point, and in turns we crawled about the decking 
forward, chipping and picking at it with the available tools. 

When daylight came on the morning of the sixth day out we 
saw and felt that the James Caird had lost her resiliency. She 
was not rising to the oncoming seas. The weight of the ice that 
had formed in her and upon her during the night was having its 
effect, and she was becoming more like a log than a boat. The 
situation called for immediate action. We first broke away the 
spare oars, which were encased in ice and frozen to the sides of 
the boat, and threw them overboard. We retained two oars for use 



THE BOAT JOUKlSrEY 1Y3 

when we got inshore. Two of the fur sleeping-hags went over 
the side ; they were thoroughly wet, weighing probahly 40 lbs. 
each, and they had frozen stiff during the night. Three men con- 
stituted the watch below, and when a man went down it was better 
to turn into the wet bag just vacated by another man than to thaw 
out a frozen bag with the heat of his unfortunate body. We now 
had four bags, three in use and one for emergency use in case a 
member of the party should break down permanently. The re- 
duction of weight relieved the boat to some extent, and vigorous 
chipping and scraping did more. We had to be very careful not 
to put axe or knife through the frozen canvas of the decking as we 
crawled over it, but gradually we got rid of a lot of ice. The 
James Caird lifted to the endless waves as though she lived again. 

About 11 a.m. the boat suddenly fell off into the trough of the 
sea. The painter had parted and the sea-anchor had gone. This 
was serious. The Jarnies Caird went away to leeward, and we 
had no chance at all of recovering the anchor and our valuable rope, 
which had been our only means of keeping the boat's head up to 
the seas without the risk of hoisting sail in a gale. Now we had 
to set the sail and trust to its holding. While the James Caird 
rolled heavily in the trough, we beat the frozen canvas until the 
bulk of the ice had cracked off it and then hoisted it. The frozen 
gear worked protestingly, but after a struggle our little craft came 
up to the wind again, and we breathed more freely. Skin frost- 
bites were troubling us, and we had developed large blisters on our 
fingers and hands. I shall always carry the scar of one of these 
frost-bites on my left hand, which became badly inflamed after the 
skin had burst and the cold had bitten deeply. 

We held the boat up to the gale during that day, enduring as 
best we could discomforts that amounted to pain. The boat tossed 
interminably on the big waves under grey, threatening skies. Our 
thoughts did not embrace much more than the necessities of the 
hour. Every surge of the sea was an enemy to be watched and 
circumvented. We ate our .scanty meals, treated our frost-bites, 
and hoped for the improved conditions that the morrow might 
bring. Night fell early, and in the lagging hours of darkness we 



174 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

were cheered by a change for the better in the weather. The wind 
dropped, the snow-squalls became less frequent, and the sea 
moderated. When the morning of the seventh day dawned there 
was not much wind. We shook the reef out of the sail and laid 
our course once more for South Georgia. The sun came out bright 
and clear, and presently Worsley got a snap for longitude. We 
hoped that the sky would remain clear until noon, so that we could 
get the latitude. We had been six days out without an observation, 
and our dead reckoning naturally was uncertain. The boat must 
have presented a strange appearance that morning. All hands 
basked in the sun. We hung our sleeping-bags to the mast and 
spread our socks and other gear all over the deck. Some of the 
ice had melted off the James Caird in the early morning after the 
gale began to slacken, and dry patches were appearing in the 
decking. Porpoises came blowing round the boat, and Cape 
pigeons wheeled and swooped within a few feet of us. These little 
black-and-white birds have an air of friendliness that is not 
possessed by the great circling albatross. They had looked grey 
against the swaying sea during the storm as they darted about over 
our heads and uttered their plaintive cries. The albatrosses, of 
the black or sooty variety, had watched with hard, bright eyes, 
and seemed to have a quite impersonal interest in our struggle to 
keep afloat amid the battering seas. In addition to the Cape 
pigeons an occasional stormy petrel flashed overhead. Then there 
was a small bird, unknown to me, that appeared always to be in a 
fussy, bustling state, quite out of keeping with the surroundings. 
It irritated me. It had practically no tail, and it flitted about 
vaguely as though in search of the lost member. I used to find 
myself wishing it would find its tail and have done with the silly 
fluttering. 

We revelled in the warmth of the sun that day. Life was not 
so bad, after all. We felt we were well on our way. Our gear 
was drying, and we could have a hot meal in comparative comfort. 
The swell was still heavy, but it was not breaking and the boat 
rode easily. At noon Worsley balanced himself on the gunwale 
and clung with one hand to the stay of the mainmast while he got 



THE BOAT JOTJENEY 116 

a snap of the sun. The result was more than encouraging. We 
had done over 380 miles and were getting on for half-way to South 
Georgia. It looked as though we were going to get through. 

The wind freshened to a good stiff breeze during the afternoon, 
and the James Caird made satisfactory progress. I had not 
realized until the sunlight came how small our boat really was. 
There was some influence in the light and warmth, some hint of 
happier days, that made us revive memories of other voyages, when 
we had stout decks beneath our feet, unlimited food at our com- 
mand, and pleasant cabins for our ease. Now we clung to a 
battered little boat, " alone, alone — all, all alone ; alone on a wide, 
wide sea." So low in the water were we that each succeeding swell 
cut off our view of the sky-line. We were a tiny speck in the vast 
vista of the sea — the ocean that is open to all and merciful to 
none, that threatens even when it seems to yield, and that is piti- 
less always to weakness. Eor a moment the consciousness of the 
forces arrayed against us would be almost overwhelming. Then 
hope and confidence would rise again as our boat rose to a wave 
and tossed aside the crest in a sparkling shower like the play of 
prismatic colours at the foot of a waterfall. My double-barrelled 
gun and some cartridges had been stowed aboard the boat as an 
emergency precaution against a shortage of food, but we were not 
disposed to destroy our little neighbours, the Cape pigeons, even 
for the sake of fresh meat. We might have shot an albatross, but 
the wandering king of the ocean aroused in us something of the 
feeling that inspired, too late, the Ancient Mariner. So the gun 
remained among the stores and sleeping-bags in the narrow quar- 
ters beneath our leaking deck, and the birds followed us unmo- 
lested. 

The eighth, ninth, and tenth days of the voyage had few fea- 
tures worthy of special note. The wind blew hard during those 
days, and the strain of navigating the boat was unceasing; but 
always we made some advance towards our goal. 'So bergs 
showed on our horizon, and we knew that we were clear of the 
ice-fields. Each day brought its little round of troubles, but also 
compensation in the form of food and growing hope. We felt 



176 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

that we were going to succeed. The odds against us had . been 
great, but we were winning through. We still suffered severely 
from the cold, for, though the temperature was rising, our vitality 
was declining owing to shortage of food, exposure, and the neces- 
sity of maintaining our cramped positions day and night. I 
found that it was now absolutely necessary to prepare hot milk for 
all hands during the night, in order to sustain life tiU dawn. 
This meant lighting the Primus lamp in the darkness and in- 
volved an increased drain on our small store of matches. It was 
the rule that one match must serve when the Primus was being 
lit. We had no lamp for the compass and during the early days 
of the voyage we would strike a match when the steersman wanted 
to see the course at night ; but later the necessity for strict economy 
impressed itself upon us, and the practice of striking matches at 
night was stopped. We had one water-tight tin of matches. I had 
stowed away in a pocket, in readiness for a sunny day, a lens 
from one of the telescopes, but this was of no use during the voy- 
age. The sun seldom shone upon us. The glass of the compass 
got broken one night, and we contrived to mend it with adhesive 
tape from the medicine-chest. One of the memories that comes 
to me from those days is of Crean singing at the tiller. He al- 
ways sang while he was steering, and nobody ever discovered what 
the song was. It was devoid of tune and as monotonous as the 
chanting of a Buddhist monk at his prayers ; yet somehow it was 
cheerful. In moments of inspiration Crean would attempt " The 
Wearing of the Green." 

On the tenth night Worsley could not straighten his body after 
his spell at the tiller. He was thoroughly cramped, and we had 
to drag him beneath the decking and massage him before he could 
unbend himself and get into a sleeping-bag. A hard north-west- 
erly gale came up on the eleventh day (May 5) and shifted to the 
south-west in the late afternoon. The sky was overcast and oc- 
casional snow-squalls added to the discomfort produced by a tre- 
mendous cross-sea — the worst, I thought, that we had experienced. 
At midnight I was at the tiller and suddenly noticed a line of 
clear sky between the south and south-west. I called to the other 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 1Y7 

men that the sky was clearing, and then a moment later I realized 
that what I had seen was not a rift in the clouds but the white 
crest of an enormous wave. During twenty-six years' experience 
of the ocean in all its moods I had not encountered a wave so 
gigantic. It was a mighty upheaval of the ocean, a thing quite 
apart from the big white-capped seas that had been our tireless 
enemies for many days. I shouted " For God's sake, hold on ! 
It's got us." Then came a moment of suspense that seemed drawn 
out into hours. White surged the foam of the breaking sea around 
us. We felt our boat lifted and flung forward like a cork in break- 
ing surf. We were in a seething chaos of tortured water; but 
somehow the boat lived through it, half full of water, sagging to 
the dead weight and shuddering under the blow. We baled with 
the energy of men fighting for life, flinging the water over the 
sides with every receptacle that came to our hands, and after ten 
minutes of uncertainty we felt the boat renew her life beneath us. 
She floated again and ceased to lurch drunkenly as though dazed 
by the attack of the sea. Earnestly we hoped that never again 
would we encounter such a wave. 

The conditions in the boat, uncomfortable before, had been made 
worse by the deluge of water. All our gear was thoroughly wet 
again. Our cooking-stove had been floating about in the bottom 
of the boat, and portions of our last hoosh seemed to have per- 
meated everything, l^ot until 3 a.m., when we were all chilled 
almost to the limit of endurance, did we manage to get the stove 
alight and make ourselves hot drinks. The carpenter was suffer- 
ing particularly, but he showed grit and spirit. "Vincent had for 
the past week ceased to be an active member of the crew, and I 
could not easily account for his collapse. Physically he was one 
of the strongest men in the boat. He was a young man, he had 
served on ISTorth Sea trawlers, and he should have been able to 
bear hardships better than McCarthy, who, not so strong, was 
always happy. 

The weather was better on the following day (May 6), and 
we got a glimpse of the sun. Worsley's observation showed that 
we were not more than a hundred miles from the north-west comer 



178 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

of Soutli Georgia. Two more days witli a favourable wind and 
we would sight the promised land. I hoped that there would be 
no delay, for our supply of water was running very low. The hot 
drink at night was essential, but I decided that the daily allow- 
ance of water must be cut down to half a pint per man. The lumps 
of ice we had taken aboard had gone long ago. We were depend- 
ent upon the water we had brought from Elephant Island, and our 
thirst was increased by the fact that we were now using the brack- 
ish water in the breaker that had been slightly stove in in the 
surf when the boat was being loaded. Some sea-water had en- 
tered at that time. 

Thirst took possession of us. I dared not permit the allow- 
ance of water to be increased since an unfavourable wind might 
drive us away from the island and lengthen our voyage by many 
days. Lack of water is always the most severe privation that 
men can be condemned to endure, and we found, as during our 
earlier boat voyage, that the salt water in our clothing and the 
salt spray that lashed our faces made our thirst grow quickly to 
a burning pain. I had to be very firm in refusing to allow any 
one to anticipate the morrow's allowance, which I was sometimes 
begged to do. We did the necessary work dully and hoped for 
the land. I had altered the course to the east so as to make sure 
of our striking the island, which would have been impossible to 
regain if we had run past the northern end. The course was laid 
on our scrap of chart for a point some thirty miles down the coast. 
That day and the following day passed for us in a sort of night- 
mare. Our mouths were dry and our tongues were swollen. The 
wind was still strong and the heavy sea forced us to navigate care- 
fully, but any thought of our peril from the waves was buried 
beneath the consciousness of our raging thirst. The bright mo- 
ments were those when we each received our one mug of hot milk 
during the long, bitter watches of the night. Things were bad for 
us in those days, but the end was coming. The morning of May 
8 broke thick and stormy, with squalls from the north-west. We 
searched the waters ahead for a sign of land, and though we could 
see nothing more than had met our eyes for many days, we were 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 1Y9 

cheered by a sense that the goal was near at hand. About ten 
o'clock that morning we passed a little bit of kelp, a glad signal 
of the proximity of land. An hour later we saw two shags sitting 
on a big mass of kelp, and knew then that we must be within ten 
or fifteen miles of the shore. These birds are as sure an indica- 
tion of the proximity of land as a lighthouse is, for they never 
venture far to sea. We gazed ahead with increasing eagerness, 
and at 12.30 p.m., through a rift in the clouds, McCarthy caught 
a glimpse of the black cliffs of South Georgia, just fourteen days 
after our departure from Elephant Island. It was a glad moment. 
Thirst-ridden, chilled, and weak as we were, happiness irradiated 
us. The job was nearly done. 

We stood in towards the shore to look for a landing-place, and 
presently we could see the green tussock-grass on the ledges above 
the surf-beaten rocks. Ahead of us and to the south, blind rollers 
showed the presence of uncharted reefs along the coast. Here 
and there the hungry rocks were close to the surface, and over 
them the great waves broke, swirling viciously and spouting thirty 
and forty feet into the air. The rocky coast appeared to descend 
sheer to the sea. Our need of water and rest was well-nigh des- 
perate, but to have attempted a landing at that time would have 
been suicidal. Night was drawing near, and the weather indica- 
tions were not favourable. There was nothing for it but to haul 
off till the following morning, so we stood away on the starboard 
tack until we had made what appeared to be a safe offing. Then 
we hove to in the high westerly swell. The hours passed slowly 
as we waited the dawn, which would herald, we fondly hoped, the 
last stage of our journey. Our thirst was a torment and we could 
scarcely touch our food; the cold seemed to strike right through 
our weakened bodies. At 5 a.m. the wind shifted to the north- 
west and quickly increased to one of the worst hurricanes any of 
us had ever experienced. A great cross-sea was running, and the 
wind simply shrieked as it tore the tops off the waves and con- 
verted the whole seascape into a haze of driving spray. Down 
into valleys, up to tossing heights, straining until her seams opened, 
swung our little boat, brave still but labouring heavily. We knew 



180 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

that the wind and set of the sea was driving us ashore, but we could 
do nothing. The dawn showed us a storm-torn ocean, and the 
morning passed without bringing us a sight of the land ; but at 1 
p.m., through a rift in the flying mists, we got a glimpse of the huge 
crags of the island and realized that our position had become des- 
perate. We were on a dead lee shore, and we could gauge our ap- 
proach to the unseen cliffs by the roar of the breakers against 
the sheer walls of rock. I ordered the double-reefed mainsail to 
be set in the hope that we might claw off, and this attempt in- 
creased the strain upon the boat. The Caird was bumping heavily, 
and the water was pouring in everywhere. Our thirst was for- 
gotten in the realization of our imminent danger, as we baled 
unceasingly, and adjusted our weights from time to time; oc- 
casional glimpses showed that the shore was nearer. I knew that 
Annewkow Island lay to the south of us, but our small and badly 
marked chart showed uncertain reefs in the passage between the 
island and the mainland, and I dared not trust it, though as a last 
resort we could try to lie under the lee of the island. The after- 
noon wore away as we edged down the coast, with the thunder of 
the breakers in our ears. The approach of evening found us still 
some distance from Annewkow Island, and, dimly in the twi- 
light, we could see a snow-capped mountain looming above us. 
The chance of surviving the night, with the driving gale and the 
implacable sea forcing us on to the lee shore, seemed small. I 
think most of us had a feeling that the end was very near. Just 
after 6 p.m., in the dark, as the boat was in the yeasty backwash 
from the seas flung from this iron-bound coast, then, just when 
things looked their worst, they changed for the best. I have mar- 
velled often at the thin line that divides success from failure and 
the sudden turn that leads from apparently certain disaster to 
comparative safety. The wind suddenly shifted, and we were free 
once more to make an ofiing. Almost as soon as the gale eased, 
the pin that locked the mast to the thwart fell out. It must have 
been on the point of doing this throughout the hurricane, and if it 
had gone nothing could have saved us; the mast would have 
snapped like a carrot. Our backstays had carried away once 




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ca 


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S 


l^aHK 




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P 


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5J!AJ 


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THE BOAT JOURNEY 181 

before when iced up and were not too strongly fastened now. We. 
were thankful indeed for the mercy that had held that pin in its 
place throughout the hurricane. 

We stood off shore again, tired almost to the point of apathy. 
Our water had long heen finished. The last was about a pint of 
hairy liquid, which we strained through a bit of gauze from the 
medicine-chest. The pangs of thirst attacked us with redoubled 
intensity, and I felt that we must make a landing on the following 
day at almost any hazard. The night wore on. We were very 
tired. We longed for day. When at last the dawn came on the 
morning of May 10 there was practically no wind, but a high cross- 
sea was running. We made slow progress towards the shore. 
About 8 a.m. the wind backed to the north-west and threatened 
another blow. We had sighted in the meantime a big indentation 
which I thought must be King Haakon Bay, and I decided that 
we must land there. We set the bows of the boat towards the bay 
and ran before the freshening gale. Soon we had angry reefs on 
either side. Great glaciers came down to the sea and offered no 
landing-place. The sea spouted on the reefs and thundered against 
the shore. About noon we sighted a line of jagged reef, like 
blackened teeth, that seemed to bar the entrance to the bay. In- 
side, comparatively smooth water stretched eight or nine miles to 
the head of the bay. A gap in the reef appeared, and we made 
for it. But the fates had another rebuff for us. The wind shifted 
and blew from the east right out of the bay. We could see the way 
through the reef, but we could not approach it directly. That 
afternoon we bore up, tacking five times in the strong wind. The 
last tack enabled us to get through, and at last we were in the 
wide mouth of the bay. Dusk was approaching. A small cove, 
with a boulder-strewn beach guarded by a reef, made a break in 
the cliffs on the south side of the bay, and we turned in that direc- 
tion. I stood in the bows directing the steering as we ran through 
the kelp and made the passage of the reef. The entrance was so 
narrow that we had to take in the oars, and the swell was piling 
itself right over the reef into the cove ; but in a minute or two we 
were inside, and in the gathering darkness the James Caird ran in 



182 



CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 



on a swell and toucked the beach. I sprang ashore with the short 
painter and held on when the boat went out with the backward 
surge. When the James Caird came in again three of the men 
got ashore, and they held the painter while I climbed some rocks 
with another line. A slip on the wet rocks twenty feet up nearly 



CAVE COVE 



^'b 



,30ft 



«Off AOft* (ort 




^^'"/^v. 



Hn'C^tf* 



Z Small Sl-ecp 

Terraces or Tus&ocKy 
•m Swamps Slope 



X- where 

was beached a^ CZ/rtvi 

dusk lO'l'MaylSie * 



"i/l 
Albatross on Nest's 



closed my part of the story just at the moment when we were 
achieving safety. A jagged piece of rock held me and at the 
same time bruised me sorely. However, I made fast the line, and 
in a few minutes we were all safe on the beach, with the boat float- 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 183 

ing in the surging water just off the shore. We heard a gurgling 
sound that was sweet music in our ears, and, peering around, found 
a stream of fresh water almost at our feet. A moment later we 
were down on our knees drinking the pure ice-cold water in long 
draughts that put new life into us. It was a splendid moment. 

The next thing was to get the stores and ballast out of the boat, 
in order that we might secure her for the night. We carried the 
stores and gear above high-water mark and threw out the bags of 
sand and the boulders that we knew so well. Then we attempted 
to pull the empty boat up the beach, and discovered by this effort 
how weak we had become. Our united strength was not sufficient 
to get the James Caird clear of the water. Time after time we 
pulled together, but without avail. I saw that it would be neces- 
sary to have food and rest before we beached the boat. We made 
fast a line to a heavy boulder and set a watch to fend the James 
Caird off the rocks of the beach. Then I sent Crean round to the 
left side of the cove, about thirty yards away, where I had noticed 
a little cave as we were running in. He could not see much in 
the darkness, but reported that the place certainly promised some 
shelter. We carried the sleeping-bags round and found a mere 
hollow in the rock-face, with a shingle-floor sloping at a steep angle 
to the sea. There we prepared a hot meal, and when the food was 
finished I ordered the men to turn in. The time was now about 8 
p.m., and I took the first watch beside the James Caird, which was 
still afloat in the tossing water just off the beach. 

Fending the James Caird off the rocks in the darkness was 
awkward work. The boat would have bumped dangerously if 
allowed to ride in with the waves that drove into the cove. I found 
a flat rock for my feet, which were in a bad way owing to cold, 
wetness, and lack of exercise in the boat, and during the next few 
hours I laboured to keep the James Caird clear of the beach. 
Occasionally I had to rush into the seething water. Then, as a 
wave receded, I let the boat out on the alpine rope so as to avoid a 
sudden jerk. The heavy painter had been lost when the sea- 
anchor went adrift. The James Caird could be seen but dimly 
in the cove, where the high black cliffs made the darkness almost 



184 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

complete, and the strain upon one's attention was great. After 
several hours had passed I found that my desire for sleep was be- 
coming irresistible, and at 1 a.m. I called Crean. I could hear 
him groaning as he stumbled over the sharp rocks on his way down 
the beach. While he was taking charge of the James Caird she 
got adrift, and we had some anxious moments. Fortunately, she 
went across towards the caVe and we secured her unharmed. The 
loss or destruction of the boat at this stage would have been a very 
serious matter, since we probably would have found it impossible 
to leave the cove except by sea. The cliffs and glaciers around 
offered no practicable path towards the head of the bay. I ar- 
ranged for one-hour watches during the remainder of the night and 
then took Crean's place among the sleeping men and got some 
sleep before the dawn came. 

The sea went down in the early hours of the morning (May 11), 
and after sunrise we were able to set about getting the boat ashore, 
first bracing ourselves for the task with another meal. We were 
all weak still. We cut off the topsides and took out all the mov- 
able gear. Then we waited for Byron's " great ninth wave," and 
when it lifted the James Caird in we held her and, by dint of great 
exertion, worked her round broadside to the sea. Inch by inch we 
dragged her up until we reached the fringe of the tussock-grass 
and knew that the boat was above high-water mark. The rise of 
the tide was about five feet, and at spring tide the water must have 
reached almost to the edge of the tussock-grass. The completion 
of this job removed our immediate anxieties, and we were free to 
examine our surroundings and plan the next move. The day was 
bright and clear. 

King Haakon Bay is an eight-mile sound penetrating the coast 
of South Georgia in an easterly direction. We had noticed that 
the northern and southern sides of the sound were formed by steep 
mountain-ranges, their fianks furrowed by mighty glaciers, the 
outlets of the great ice-sheet of the interior. It was obvious that 
these glaciers and the precipitous slopes of the mountains barred 
our way inland from the cove. We must sail to the head of the 
sound. Swirling clouds and mist-wreaths had obscured our view 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 



185 



of the sound when we were entering, but glimpses of snow-slopes 
had given us hope that an overland journey could be begun from 
that point. A few patches of very rough tussocky land, dotted 
with little tarns, lay between the glaciers along the foot of the 
mountains, which were heavily scarred with scree-slopes. Several 



Surroundings of 
.Kih$ Haakon Bay 








REFERENCE 
GE Glacier 



magnificent peaks and crags gazed out across their snowy domains 
to the sparkling waters of the sound. 

Our cove lay a little inside the southern headland of King 
Haakon Bay. A narrow break in the cliffs, which were about a 
hundred feet high at this point, formed the entrance to the cove. 



186 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

The cliffs continued inside the cove on each side and merged into 
a hill which descended at a steep slope to the houlder-beach. The 
slope, which carried tussock-grass, was not continuous. It eased 
at two points into little peaty swamp terraces dotted with frozen 
pools and drained by two small streams. Our cave was a recess 
in the cliff on the left-hand end of the beach. The rocky face of 
the cliff was undercut at this point, and the shingle thrown up by 
the waves formed a steep slope, which we reduced to about one in 
six by scraping the stones away from the inside. Later we 
strewed the rough floor with the dead, nearly dry, underleaves of 
the tussock-grass, so as to form a slightly soft bed for our sleeping- 
bags. Water had trickled down the face of the cliff and formed 
long icicles, which hung down in front of the cave to the length of 
about fifteen feet. These icicles provided shelter, and when we 
had spread our sails below them, with the assistance of oars, we 
had quarters that, in the circumstances, had to be regarded as 
reasonably comfortable. The camp at least was dry, and we moved 
our gear there with confidence. We built a fireplace and arranged 
our sleeping-bags and blankets around it. The cave was about 8 
ft. deep and 12 ft. wide at the entrance. 

While the camp was being arranged Crean and I climbed the 
tussock slope behind the beach and reached the top of a headland 
overlooking the sound. There we found the nests of albatrosses, 
and, much to our delight, the nests contained young birds. The 
fledgelings were fat and lusty, and we had no hesitation about de- 
ciding that they were destined to die at an early age. Our most 
pressing anxiety at this stage was a shortage of fuel for the cooker. 
We had rations for ten more days, and we knew now that we could 
get birds for food ; but if we were to have hot meals we must secure 
fuel. The store of petroleum carried in the boat was running very 
low, and it seemed necessary to keep some quantity for use on the 
overland journey that lay ahead of us. A sea-elephant or a seal 
would have provided fuel as well as food, but we could see none 
in the neighbourhood. During the morning we started a fire in 
the cave with wood from the topsides of the boat, and though the 
dense smoke from the damp sticks inflamed our tired eyes, the 



THE BOAT JOUBKEY 



187 



warmth and the prospect of hot food were ample compensation. 
Crean was cook that day, and I suggested to him that he should 
wear his goggles, which he happened to have brought with him. 
The goggles helped him a great deal as he bent over the fire and 
tended the stew. And what a stew it was ! The young albatrosses 
weighed about fourteen pounds each, fresh killed, and we estimated 
that they weighed at least six pounds each when cleaned and 
dressed for the pot. Four birds went into the pot for six men, 
with a Bovril ration for thickening. The flesh was white and 
succulent, and the bones, not fully formed, almost melted in our 

Plan of Sleeping 
Berths in Cavc 

Sheap 

Tussock 

Slope 




mouths. That was a memorable meal. When we had eaten our 
fill, we dried our tobacco in the embers of the fire and smoked con- 
tentedly. We made an attempt to dry our clothes, which were 
soaked with salt water, but did not meet with much success. We 
could not afford to have a fire except for cooking purposes until 
blubber or driftwood had come our way. 

The final stage of the journey had still to be attempted. I 
realized that the condition of the party generally, and particularly 
of McNeish and Vincent, would prevent us putting to sea again 
except under pressure of dire necessity. Our boat, moreover, had 
been weakened by the cutting away of the topsides, and I doubted 



188 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

if we could weather the island. We were still 150 miles away 
from Stromness whaling-station by sea. The alternative was to 
attempt the crossing of the island. If we could not get over, then 
we must try to secure enough food and fuel to keep us alive through 
the winter, but this possibility was scarcely thinkable. Over on 
Elephant Island twenty-two men were waiting for the relief that 
we alone could secure for them. Their plight was worse than ours. 
We must push on somehow. Several days must elapse before our 
strength would be sufficiently recovered to allow us to row or sail 
the last nine miles up to the head of the bay. In the meantime we 
could make what preparations were possible and dry our clothes 
by taking advantage of every scrap of heat from the fires we lit for 
the cooking of our meals. We turned in early that night, and I 
remember that I dreamed of the great wave and aroused my com- 
panions with a shout of warning as I saw with half-awakened eyes 
the towering cliff on the opposite side of the cove. 

Shortly before midnight a gale sprang up suddenly from the 
north-east with rain and sleet showers. It brought quantities of 
glacier-ice into the cove, and by 2 a.m. (May 12) our little harbour 
was filled with ice, which surged to and fro in the swell and pushed 
its way on to the beach. We had solid rock beneath our feet and 
could watch without anxiety. When daylight came rain was fall- 
ing heavily, and the temperature was the highest we had ex- 
perienced for many months. The icicles overhanging our cave 
were melting down in streams, and we had to move smartly when 
passing in and out lest we should be struck by falling lumps. 
A fragment weighing fifteen or twenty pounds crashed down while 
we were having breakfast. We found tha-t a big, hole had been 
burned in the bottom of Worsley's reindeer sleeping-bag during the 
night. Worsley had been awakened by a burning sensation in his 
feet, and had asked the men near him if his bag was all right ; they 
looked and could see nothing wrong. We were all superficially 
frost-bitten about the feet, and this condition caused the extremities 
to burn painfully, while at the same time sensation was lost in the 
skin. Worsley thought that the uncomfortable heat of his feet 
was due to the frost-bites, and he stayed in his bag and presently 



THE BOAT JOUENEY 189 

went to sleep again. He discovered when lie turned out in the 
morning that the tussock-grass which we had laid on the floor of 
the cave had smouldered outwards from the fire and had actually 
burned a large hole in the bag beneath his feet. Fortunately, his 
feet were not harmed. 

Our party spent a quiet day, attending to clothing and gear, 
checking stores, eating and resting. Some more of the young 
albatrosses made a noble end in our pot. The birds were nesting 
on a small plateau above the right-hand end of our beach. We had 
previously discovered that when we were landing from the boat on 
the night of May 10 we had lost the rudder. The James Caird 
had been bumping heavily astern as we were scrambling ashore, 
and evidently the rudder was then knocked off. A careful search 
of the beach and the rocks within our reach failed to reveal the 
missing article. This was a serious loss, even if the voyage to the 
head of the sound could be made in good weather. At dusk the ice 
in the cove was rearing and crashing on the beach. It had forced 
up a ridge of stones close to where the James Caird lay at the edge 
of the tussock-grass. Some pieces of ice were driven right up to 
the canvas waU at the front of our cave. Fragments lodged within 
two feet of Vincent, who had the lowest sleeping-place, and within 
four feet of our fire. Crean and McCarthy had brought down six 
more of the young albatrosses in the afternoon, so we were well 
supplied with fresh food. The air temperature that night prob- 
ably was not lower than 38°or 40° Fahr., and we were rendered 
uncomfortable in our cramped sleeping quarters by the unac- 
customed warmth. Our feelings towards our neighbours under- 
went a change. When the temperature was below 20° Fahr. we 
could not get too close to one another — every man wanted to cud- 
dle against his neighbour; but let the temperature rise a few de- 
grees and the warmth of another man's body ceased to be a bless- 
ing. The ice and the waves had a voice of menace that night, but 
I heard it only in my dreams. 

The bay was still fiUed with ice on the morning of Saturday, May 
13, but the tide took it all away in the afternoon. Then a strange 
thing happened. The rudder, with all the broad Atlantic to sail 



190 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

in and the coasts of two continents to search for a resting-place, 
came bobbing back into our cove. With anxious eyes we watched 
it as it advanced, receded again, and then advanced once more 
under the capricious influence of wind and wave. E^earer and 
nearer it came as we waited on the shore, oars in hand, and at last 
we were able to seize it. Surely a remarkable salvage ! The day 
was bright and clear ; our clothes were drying and our strength was 
returning. Eunning water made a musical sound down the tussock 
slope and among the boulders. We carried our blankets up the hill 
and tried to dry them in the breeze 300 ft. above sea-level. In the 
afternoon we began to prepare the James Caird for the journey to 
the head of King Haakon Bay. A noon observation on this day 
gave our latitude as 54° 10' 47" S., but according to the German 
chart the position should have been 54° 12' S. Probably 
Worsley's observation was the more accurate. We were able to 
keep the fire alight until we went to sleep that night, for while 
climbing the rocks above the cove I had seen at the foot of a cliff a 
broken spar, which had been throvm up by the waves. We could 
reach this spar by climbing down the cliff, and with a reserve 
supply of fuel thus in sight we could afford to burn the fragments 
of the James Caird's topsides more freely. 

During the morning of this day (May 13) Worsley and I 
tramped across the hills in a north-easterly direction with the 
object of getting a view of the sound and possibly gathering some 
information that would be useful to us in the next stage of our 
journey. It was exhausting work, but after covering about 2^ 
miles in two hours, we were able to look east, up the bay. We 
could not see very much of the country that we would have to cross 
in order to reach the whaling station on the other side of the 
island. We had passed several brooks and frozen tarns, and at a 
point where we had to take to the beach on the shore of the sound 
we found some wreckage — an 18-ft. pine-spar (probably part of a 
ship's topmast), several pieces of timber, and a little model of a 
ship's hull, evidently a child's toy. We wondered what tragedy 
that pitiful little plaything indicated. We encountered also some 
gentoo penguins and a young sea-elephant, which Worsley killed. 



THE BOAT JOURlSrEY 191 

"When we got back to the cave at 3 p.m., tired, hungry, but 
rather pleased "with ourselves, we found a splendid meal of stewed 
albatross chicken waiting for us. We had carried a quantity of 
blubber and the sea-elephant's liver in our blouses, and we pro- 
duced our treasures as a surprise for the men. Rough climbing 
. on the way back to camp had nearly persuaded us to throw the 
stuff away, but we had held on (regardless of the condition of our 
already sorely tried clothing), and had our reward at the camp. 
The long bay had been a magnificent sight, even to eyes that had 
dwelt on grandeur long enough and were hungry for the simple, 
familiar things of everyday life. Its green-blue waters were being 
beaten to fury by the north-westerly gale. The mountains, " stem 
peaks that dared the stars," peered through the mists, and between 
them huge glaciers poured down from the great ice-slopes and fields 
that lay behind. We counted twelve glaciers and heard every few 
minutes the reverberating roar caused by masses of ice calving from 
the parent streams. 

On May 14 we made our preparations for an early start on the 
following day if the weather held fair. We expected to be able 
to pick up the remains of the sea-elephant on our way up the 
sound. All hands were recovering from the chafing caused by our 
wet clothes during the boat journey. The insides of our legs had 
suffered severely, and for some time after landing in the cove we 
found movement extremely uncomfortable. We paid our last visit 
to the nests of the albatrosses, which were situated on a little un- 
dulating plateau above the cave amid tussocks, snow-patches, and 
little frozen tarns. Each nest consisted of a mound over a foot 
high of tussock-grass, roots, and a little earth. The albatross lays 
one egg and very rarely two. The chicks, which are hatched in 
January, are fed on the nest by the parent birds for almost seven 
months before they take to the sea and fend for themselves. Up 
to four months of age the chicks are beautiful white masses of 
downy fluff, but when we arrived on the scene their plumage was 
almost complete. Very often one of the parent birds was on guard 
near the nest. We did not enjoy attacking these birds, but our 
hunger knew no law. They tasted so very good and assisted our 



192 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

recuperation to such an extent that each time we killed one of 
them we felt a little less remorseful. 

May 15 was a great day. We made our hoosh at 7.30 a.m. 
Then we loaded up the boat and gave her a flying launch down the 
steep beach into the surf. Heavy rain had fallen in the night and 
a gusty north-westerly wind was now blowing, with misty showers. 
The James 'Caird headed to the sea as if anxious to face the battle 
of the waves once more. We passed through the narrow mouth of 
the cove with the ugly rocks and waving kelp close on either side, 
turned to the east, and sailed merrily up the bay as the sun broke 
through the mists and made the tossing waters sparkle around us. 
We were a curious-looking party on that bright morning, but we 
were feeling happy. We even broke into song, and, but for our 
Eobinson Crusoe appearance, a casual observer might have taken 
us for a picnic party sailing in a I^orwegian fiord or one of the 
beautiful sounds of the west coast of New Zealand. The wind 
blew fresh and strong, and a small sea broke on the coast as we 
advanced. The surf was sufficient to have endangered the boat 
if we had attempted to land where the carcase of the sea-elephant 
was lying, so we decided to go on to the head of the bay without 
risking anything, particularly as we were likely to find sea- 
elephants on the upper beaches. The big creatures have a habit of 
seeking peaceful quarters protected from the waves. We had 
hopes, too, of finding penguins. Our expectation as far as the sea- 
elephants were concerned was not at fault. We heard the roar of 
the bulls as we neared the head of the bay, and soon afterwards saw 
the great unwieldy forms of the beasts lying on a shelving beach 
towards the bay-head. We rounded a high, glacier-worn bluff on 
the north side, and at 12.30 p.m. we ran the boat ashore on a low 
beach of sand and pebbles, with tussock growing above high-water 
mark. There were hundreds of sea-elephants lying about, and our 
anxieties with regard to food disappeared. Meat; and blubber 
enough to feed our party for years was in sight. Our landing- 
place was about a mile and a half west of the north-east corner 
of the bay. Just east of us was a glacier-snout ending on the 
beach but giving a passage toward^ the he&d gf the bay except at 



THE BOAT JOUENEY 193 

high water or when a very heavy surf was running. A cold, 
drizzling rain had begun to fall, and we provided ourselves with 
shelter as quickly as possible. We hauled the James Caird up 
above high-water mark and turned her over just to the lee or east 
side of the bluff. The spot was separated from the mountain-side 
by a low morainic bank, rising twenty or thirty feet above sea-level. 
Soon we had converted the boat into a very comfortable cabin a la 
Peggotty, turfing it round with tussocks, which we dug up with 
knives. One side of the James Caird rested on stones so as to 
afford a low entrance, and when we had finished she looked as 
though she had grown there. McCarthy entered into this work 
with great spirit. A sea-elephant provided us with fuel and meat, 
and that evening found a well-fed, and fairly contented party at rest 
in Peggotty Camp. 

Our camp, as I have said, lay on the north side of King Haakon 
Bay near the head. Our path towards the whaling-stations led 
round the seaward end of the snouted glacier on the east side of 
the camp and up a snow-slope that appeared to lead to a pass in the 
great AUardyce Range, which runs north-west and south-east and 
forms the main backbone of South Georgia. The range dipped 
opposite the bay into a well-defined pass from east to west. An 
ice-sheet covered most of the interior, filling the valleys and dis- 
guising the configuration of the land, which, indeed, showed only 
in big rocky ridges, peaks, and nunataks. When we looked up the 
pass from Peggotty Camp the country to the left appeared to offer 
two easy paths through to the opposite coast, but we knew that the 
island was uninhabited at that point (Possession Bay). We had 
to turn our attention further east, and it was impossible from the 
camp to learn much of the conditions that would confront us on the 
overland journey. I planned to climb to the pass and then be 
guided by the configuration of the country in the selection of a 
route eastward to Stromness B'ay, where the whaling-stations were 
established in the minor bays, Leith, Huvik, and Stromness. A 
range of mountains with precipitous slopes, forbidding peaks, and 
large glaciers, lay immediately to the south of King Haakon Bay 
and seemed, to form a continuation of the main range. Between 



194 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

this secondary range and the pass above our camp a great snow- 
upland sloped up to the inland ice-sheet and reached a rocky ridge 
that stretched athwart our path and seemed to bar the way. This 
ridge was a right-angled offshoot from the main ridge. Its chief 
features were four rocky peaks with spaces between that looked 
from a distance as though they might prove to be passes. 

The weather was bad on Tuesday, May 16j and we stayed under 
the boat nearly all day. The quarters were cramped but gave full 
protection from the weather, and we regarded our little cabin with 
a great deal of satisfaction. Abundant meals of sea-elephant 
steak and liver increased our contentment. MciN^eish reported 
during the day that he had seen rats feeding on the scraps, but 
this interesting statement was not verified. One would not expect 
to find rats at such a spot, but there was a bare possibility that 
they had landed from a wreck and managed to survive the very 
rigorous conditions. 

A fresh west-south-westerly breeze was blowing on the following 
morning (Wednesday, May lY), with misty squalls, sl«et, and 
rain. I took Worsley with me on a pioneer journey to the west 
with the object of examining the country to be traversed at the be- 
ginning of the overland journey. We went round the seaward end 
of the snouted glacier, and after tramping about a mile over stony 
ground and snow-coated debris, we crossed some big ridges of 
scree and moraines. We found that there was good going for a 
sledge as far as the north-east corner of the bay, but did not get 
much information regarding the conditions further on owing to the 
view becoming obscured by a snow-squall. We waited a quarter 
of an hour for the weather to clear but were forced to turn back 
without having seen more of the country. I had satisfied myself, 
however, that we could reach a good snow-slope leading apparently 
to the inland ice. Worsley reckoned from the chart that the 
distance from our camp to Huvik, on an east magnetic course, was 
seventeen geographical miles, but we could not expect to follow a 
direct line. The carpenter started making a sledge for use on the 
overland journey. The materials at his disposal were limited in 
quantity and scarcely suitable in quality. 







•8«*^' 





1 








I, 




i. 


,f 


? - 


1 ^ 




V- 




-.1 


"^^ .- 




J'hohiuraijli 1,11 F. Huiieil 
THE CLIFFS WE DESCENDED WHILST CROSSING THE ISLAND 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 1&5 

We overhauled our gear on Thursday, May 18, and hauled our 
sledge to the lower edge of the snouted glacier. The vehicle proved 
heavy and cumbrous. We had to lift it empty over bare patches 
of rock along the shore, and I. realized that it would be too heavy 
for three men to manage amid the snow-plains, glaciers, and peaks 
of the interior. Worsley and Crean were coming with me, and 
after consultation we decided to leave the sleeping-bags behind us 
and make the journey in very light marching order. We would 
take three days' provisions for each man in the form of sledging 
ration and biscuit. The food was to be packed in three socks, so 
that each member of the party could carry his own supply. Then 
we were to take the Primus lamp filled with oil, the small cooker, 
the carpenter's adze (for use as an ice-axe), and the alpine rope, 
which made a total length of fifty feet when knotted. We might 
have to lower ourselves down steep slopes or cross crevassed 
glaciers. The filled lamp would provide six hot meals, which 
would consist of sledging ration boiled up with biscuit. There 
were two boxes of matches left, one full and the other partially 
used. We left the full box with the men at the camp and took the 
second box, which contained forty-eight matches. I was unfor- 
tunate as regarded footgear, since I had given away my heavy 
Burberry boots on the floe, and had now a comparatively light pair 
in poor condition. The carpenter assisted me by putting several 
screws in the sole of each boot with the object of providing a grip 
on the ice. The screws came out of the James Caird. 

We turned in early that night, but sleep did not come to me. 
My mind was busy with the task of the following day. The 
weather was clear and the outlook for an early start in the morning 
was good. We were going to leave a weak party behind us in the 
camp, Vincent was still in the same condition, and he could not 
march. McNeish was pretty well broken up. The two men were 
not capable of managing for themselves and McCarthy must stay 
to look after them. He might have a difficult task if we failed to 
reach the whaling-station. The distance to Huvik, according to 
the chart, was no more than seventeen geographical miles in a di- 
rect line, but we had very scanty knowledge of the conditions of the 



196 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

interior. 'No man had ever penetrated a mile from the coast of 
South Georgia at any point, and the whalers, I knew, regarded the 
country as inaccessible. During that day, while we were walking 
to the snouted glacier, we had seen three wild duck flying towards 
the head of the bay from the eastward. I hoped that the presence 
of these birds indicated tussock-land and not snow-fields and 
glaciers in the interior, but the hope was not a very bright one. 

We turned out at 2 a.m. on the Eriday morning and had our 
hoosh ready an hour later. The full moon was shining in a prac- 
tically cloudless sky, its rays reflected gloriously from the pinnacles 
and erevassed ice of the adjacent glaciers. The huge peaks of the 
mountains stood in bold relief against the sky and threw dark 
shadows on the waters of the sound. There was no need for delay, 
and we made a start as soon as we had eaten our meal. McNeish 
walked about 200 yds. with us ; he could do no more. Then we 
said good-bye and he turned back to the camp. The first task was to 
get round the edge of the snouted glacier, which had points like 
fingers projecting towards the sea. The waves were reaching the 
points of these fingers, and we had to rush from one recess to 
another when the waters receded. We soon reached the east side of 
the glacier and noticed its great activity at this point. Changes 
had occurred within the preceding twenty-four hours. Some huge 
pieces had broken off, and the masses of mud and stone that were 
being driven before the advancing ice showed movement. The 
glacier was like a gigantic plough driving irresistibly towards 
the sea. 

Lying on the beach beyond the glacier was wreckage that told of 
many ill-fated ships. We noticed stanchions of teakwood,- 
liberally carved, that must have come from ships of the older type ; 
iron-bound timbers with the iron almost rusted through ; battered 
barrels, and all the usual debris of the ocean. We had difiiculties 
and anxieties of our own, but as we passed that graveyard of the 
sea we thought of the many tragedies written in the wave-worn 
fragments of lost vessels. We did not pause, and soon we were 
ascending a snow-slope, headed due east on the last lap of our 
long trail. 



THE BOAT JOURNEY 197 

The snow-surface was disappointing. Two days before we had 
been able to move rapidly on hard, packed snow; now we sank 
over our ankles at each step and progress was slow. After two 
hours' steady climbing we were 2500 ft. above sea-level. The 
weather continued fine and calm, and as the ridges drew nearer and 
the western coast of the island spread out below, the bright moon- 
light showed us that the interior was broken tremendously. High 
peaks, impassable cliffs, steep snow-slopes, and sharply descending 
glaciers were prominent features in all directions, with stretches of 
snow-plain overlaying the ice-sheet of the interior. The slope 
we were ascending mounted to a ridge and our course lay direct 
to the top. The moon, which proved a good friend during this 
journey, threw a long shadow at one point and told us that the 
surface was broken in our path. Warned in time, we avoided a 
huge hole capable of swallowing an army. The bay was now 
about three miles away, and the continued roaring of a big glacier 
at the head of the bay came to our ears. This glacier, which we 
had noticed during the stay at Peggotty Camp, seemed to be calving 
almost continuously. 

I had hoped to get a view of the country ahead of us from the 
top of the slope, but as the surface became more level beneath our 
feet, a thick fog drifted down. The moon became obscured and 
produced a diffused light that was more trying than darkness, 
since it illuminated the fog without guiding our steps. We roped 
ourselves together as a precaution against holes, crevasses, and 
precipices, and I broke trail through the soft snow. With almost 
the full length of the rope between myself and the last man we were 
able to steer an approximately straight course, since, if I veered 
to the right or the left when marching into the blank wall of the 
fog, the last man on the rope could shout a direction. So, like a 
ship with its " port,''" " starboard," " steady," we tramped through 
the fog for the next two hours. 

Then, as daylight came, the fog thinned and lifted, and from an 
elevation of about 3000 ft. we looked down on what seemed to be 
a huge frozen lake with its further shores still obscured by the fog. 
We halted there to eat a bit of biscuit while we discussed whether 



198 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

we would go down and cross the flat surface of the lake, or keep 
on the ridge we had already reached. I decided to go down, since 
the lake lay on our course. After an hour of comparatively easy 
travel through the snow we noticed the thin beginnings of crevasses. 
Soon they were increasing in size and showing fractures, indicating 
that we were travelling on a glacier. As the daylight brightened 
the fog dissipated ; the lake could be seen more clearly, but still we 
could not discover its east shore. A little later the fog lifted com- 
pletely, and then we saw that our lake stretched to the horizon, and 
realized suddenly that we were looking down upon the open sea 
on the east coast of the island. The slight pulsation at the shore 
showed that the sea was not even frozen ; it was the bad light that 
had deceived us. Evidently we were at the top of Possession Bay, 
and the island at that point could not be more than iive miles 
across from the head of King Haakon Bay. Our rough chart was 
inaccurate. There was nothing for it but to start up the glacier 
again. That was about seven o'clock in the morning, and by nine 
o'clock we had more than recovered our lost ground. We re- 
gained the ridge and then struck south-east, for the chart showed 
that two more bays indented the coast before Stromness. It was 
comforting to realize that we would have the eastern water in sight 
during our journey, although we could see there was no way 
around the shore-line owing to steep cliffs and glaciers. Men lived 
in houses lit by electric light on the east coast. ITews of the out- 
side world waited us there, and, above all, the east coast meant for 
us the means of rescuing the twenty-two men we had left on 
Elephant Island. 



CHAPTER X 

ACBOSS SOTTTH GBOiEGIA 

The sun rose in the sky with every appearance of a fine day, and 
we grew warmer as we toiled through the soft snow. Ahead of 
us lay the ridges and spurs of a range of mountains, the transverse 
range that we had noticed from the bay. We were travelling over 
a gently rising plateau, and at the end of an hour we found our- 
selves growing uncomfortably hot. Years before, on an earlier 
expedition, I had declared that I would never again growl at the 
heat of the sun, and my resolution had been strengthened during 
the boat journey. I called it to mind as the sun beat fiercely on the 
blinding white snow-slope. After passing an area of crevasses we 
paused for our first meal. We dug a hole in the snow about three 
feet deep with the adze and put the Primus into it. There was 
no wind at the moment, but a gust might come suddenly. A hot 
hoosh was soon eaten and we plodded on towards a sharp ridge 
between two of the peaks already mentioned. By 11 a.m. we were 
almost at the crest. The slope had become precipitous and it was 
necessary to cut steps as we advanced. The adze proved an ex- 
cellent instrument for this purpose, a blow sufficing to provide a 
foothold. Anxiously but hopefully I cut the last few steps and 
stood upon the razor-back, while the other men held the rope and 
waited for my news. The outlook was disappointing. I looked 
down a sheer precipice to a chaos of crumpled ice 1500 ft. below. 
There was no way down for us. The country to the east was a 
great snow upland, sloping upwards for a distance of seven or 
eight miles to a height of over 4000 ft. To the north it fell away 
steeply in glaciers into the bays, and to the south it was broken by 
huge outfalls from the inland ice-sheets. Our path lay between 
the glaciers and the outfalls, but first we had to descend from the 

ridge on which we stood. 

199 



200 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Cutting steps with the adze, we moved in a lateral direction 
round the base of a dolomite, which blocked our view to the north. 
The same precipice confronted us. Away to the north-east there 
appeared to be a snow-slope that might give a path to the lower 
country, and so we retraced our steps down the long slope that had 
taken us three hours to climb. We were at the bottom in an hour. 
We were now feeling the strain of the unaccustomed marching. 
We had done little walking since January and our muscles were out 
of tune. Skirting the base of the mountain above us, we came to a 
gigantic bergschrund, a mile and a half long and 1000 ft. deep. 
This treniendous gully, cut in the snow and ice by the fierce winds 
blowing round the mountain, was semicircular in form, and it 
ended in a gentle incline. We passed through it under the tower- 
ing precipice of ice, and at the far end we had another meal and a 
short rest. This was at 12.30 p.m. Half a pot of steaming Bovril 
ration warmed us up, and when we marched again ice-inclines at 
angles of 45 degrees did not look quite as formidable as before. 

Once more we started for the crest. After another weary climb 
we, reached the top. The snow lay thinly on blue ice at the ridge, 
and we had to cut steps over the last fifty yards. The same preci- 
pice lay below, and my eyes searched vainly for a way down. The 
hot sun had loosened the snow, which was now in a treacherous con- 
dition, and we had to pick our way carefully. Looking back, we 
could see that a fog was rolling up behind us and meeting in the 
valleys a fog that was coming up from the east. The creeping 
grey clouds were a plain warning that we must get down to lower 
levels before becoming enveloped. 

The ridge was studded with peaks, which prevented us getting 
a clear view either to the right or to the left. The situation in this 
respect seemed no better at other points within our reach, and I 
had to decide that our course lay back the way we had come. The 
afternoon was wearing on and the fog was rolling up ominously 
from the west. It was of the utmost importance for us to get 
down into the next valley before dark. We were now up 4500 ft. 
and the night temperature at that elevation would be very low. 
We had no tent and no sleeping-bags, and our clothes had endured 



ACEOSS SOUTH GEORGIA 201 

mucli rough usage and had weathered many storms during the last 
ten months. In the distance, down the valley below us, we could 
see tussock-grass close to the shore, and if we could get down it 
might be possible to dig out a hole in one of the lower snow-banks, 
line it with dry grass, and make ourselves fairly comfortable for the 
night. Back we went, and after a detour we reached the top of 
another ridge in the fading light. After a glance over the top I 
turned ta the anxious faces of the two men behind me and said 
" Come on, boys." Within a minute they stood beside me on 
the ice-ridge. The surface fell away at a sharp incline in front of 
us, but it merged into a snow-slope. We could not see the bottom 
clearly owing to mist and bad light, and the possibility of the slope 
ending in a sheer fall occurred to us ; but the fog that was creeping 
up behind allowed no time for hesitation. We descended slowly 
at first, cutting steps in the hard snow; then the surface became 
softer, indicating that the gradient was less severe. There could 
be no turning back now, so we unroped and slid in the fashion of 
youthful days. When we stopped on a snow-bank at the foot of the 
slope we found that we had descended at least 900 ft. in two or 
three minutes. We looked back and saw the grey fingers of the 
fog appearing on the ridge, as though reaching after the intruders 
into untrodden wilds. But we had escaped. 

The country to the east was an ascending snow upland dividing 
the glaciers of the north coast from the outfalls of the south. We 
had seen from the top that our course lay between two huge masses 
of crevasses, and we thought that the road ahead lay clear. This 
belief and the increasing cold made us abandon the idea of camp- 
ing. We had another meal at 6 p.m. A little breeze made cook- 
ing difficult in spite of the shelter provided for the cooker by a 
hole. Crean was the cook, and Worsley and I lay on the snow to 
windward of the lamp so as to break the wind with our bodies. 
The meal over, we started up the lona;, gentle ascent. ISTight was 
upon us, and for an hour we plodded along in almost complete dark- 
ness, watching warily for signs of crevasses. Then about 8 p.m. 
a glow which we had seen behind the jagged peaks resolved itself 
into the full moon, which rose ahead of us and made a silver path- 



202 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

way for our feet. Along that pathway in the wake of the moon 
we advanced in safety, with the shadows cast by the edges of 
crevasses showing black on either side of us. Onwards and up- 
wards through soft snow we marched, resting now and then on 
hard patches which had revealed themselves by glittering ahead 
of us in the white light. By midnight we were again at an eleva- 
tion of about 4000 ft. Still we were following the light, for as the 
moon swung round towards the north-east our path curved in that 
direction. The friendly moon seemed to pilot our weary feet. 
We could have had no better guide. If in bright daylight we had 
made that march we would have followed the course that was 
traced for us that night. 

Midnight found us approaching the edge of a great snow-field, 
pierced by isolated nunataks which cast long shadows like black 
rivers across the white expanse. A gentle slope to the north-east 
lured our all-too-willing feet in that direction. We thought that 
at the base of the slope lay Stromness Bay. After we had de- 
scended about 300 ft. a thin wind began to attack us. We had 
now been on the march for over twenty hours, only halting for 
our occasional meals. Wisps of cloud drove over the high peaks 
to the southward, warning us that wind and snow were likely to 
come. After 1 a.m. we cut a pit in the snow, piled up loose snow 
around it, and started the Primus again. The hot food gave us 
another renewal of energy. Worsley and Crean sang their old 
songs when the Primus was going merrily. Laughter was in our 
hearts, though not on our parched and cracked lips. 

We were up and away again within half an hour, still downward 
to the coast. We felt almost sure now that we were above Strom- 
ness Bay. A dark object down at the foot of the slope looked like 
Mutton Island, which lies off Huvik. I suppose our desires 
were giving wings to our fancies, for we pointed out joyfully va- 
rious landmarks revealed by the now vagrant light of the moon, 
whose friendly face was cloud-swept. Our high hopes were soon 
shattered. Crevasses warned us that we were on another glacier, 
and soon we looked down almost to the seaward edge of the great 
riven ice mass. I knew there was no glacier in Stromness and 



ACEOSS SOUTH GEORGIA 203 

realized that this must be Fortuna Glacier. The disappointment 
was severe. Back we turned and tramped up the glacier again, 
not directly tracing our steps but working at a tangent to the south- 
east. We were very tired. 

At 5 a.m. we were at the foot of the rocky spurs of the range. 
We were tired, and the wind that blew down from the heights was 
chilling us. We decided to get down under the lee of a rock for 
a rest. We put our sticks and the adze on the snow, sat down on 
them as close to one another as possible, and put our arms round 
each other. The wind was bringing a little drift with it and the 
white dust lay on our clothes. I thought that we might be able 
to keep warm and have half an hour's rest this way. Within a 
minute my two companions were fast asleep. I realized that it 
would be disastrous if we all slumbered together, for sleep under 
such conditions merges into death. After five minutes I shook 
them into consciousness again, told them that they had slept for 
half an hour, and gave the word for a fresh start. We were so 
stiff that for the first two or three hundred yards we marched with 
our knees bent. A jagged line of peaks with a gap like a broken 
tooth confronted us. This was the ridge that runs in a southerly 
direction from Eortuna Bay, and our course eastward to Strom- 
ness lay across it. A very steep slope led up to the ridge and an 
icy wind burst through the gap. 

We went through the gap at 6 a.m. with anxious hearts as well 
as weary bodies. If the further slope had proved impassable our 
situation would have been almost desperate; but the worst was 
turning to the best for us. The twisted, wave-like rock formations 
of Huvik Harbour appeared right ahead in the opening of dawn. 
Without a word we shook hands with one another. To our minds 
the journey was over, though as a matter of fact twelve miles of 
difiicult country had still to be traversed. A gentle snow-slope de- 
scended at our feet towards a valley that separated our ridge from 
the hills immediately behind Huvik, and as we stood gazing 
Worsley said solemnly, " Boss, it looks too good to be true ! " 
Dovsm. we went, to be checked presently by the sight of water 2500 
ft. below. We could see the little wave-ripples on the black beach, 



204 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

penguins strutting to and fro, and dark objects that looked like 
seals lolling lazily on the sand. This was an eastern arm of For- 
tuna Bay, separated by the ridge from the arm we had seen below 
us during the night. The slope we were traversing appeared to 
end in a precipice above this beach. But our revived spirits were 
not to be damped by difficulties on the last stage of the journey, 
and we camped cheerfully for breakfast. Whilst Worsley and 
Crean were digging a hole for the lamp and starting the cooker I 
climbed a ridge above us, cutting steps with the adze, in order to 
secure an extended view of the country below. At 6.30 a.m. I 
thought I heard the sound of a steam-whistle. I dared not be 
certain, but I knew that the men at the whaling-station would be 
called from their beds about that time. Descending- to the camp I 
told the others, and in intense excitement we watched the chronom- 
eter for seven o'clock, when the whalers would be summoned to 
work. Eight to the minute the steam-whistle came to us, borne 
clearly on the wind across the intervening nailes of rock and snow. 
Never had any one of us heard sweeter music. It was the first 
sound created by outside human agency that had come to our ears 
since we left Stronmess Bay in December, 1914. That whistle 
told us that men were living near, that ships were ready, and that 
within a few hours we should be on our way back to Elephant 
Island to the rescue of the men waiting there under the watch and 
ward of Wild. It was a moment hard to describe. Pain and ache, 
boat journeys, marches, hunger and fatigue seemed to belong to the 
limbo of forgotten things, and there remained only the perfect 
contentment that comes of work accomplished. 

My examination of the country from a higher point had not 
provided definite information, and after descending I put the situa- 
tion before Worsley and Crean. Our obvious course lay down a 
snow-slope in the direction of Huvik. " Boys," I said, " this 
snow-slope seems to end in a precipice, but perhaps there is no 
precipice. If we don't go down we shall have to make a detour 
of at least five miles before we reach level going. What shall it 
be ? " They both replied at once, " Try the slope." So we started 
away again downwards. We abandoned the Primus lamp, now 



ACEOSS SOUTH GEORGIA 205 

empty, at the breakfast camp and carried with us one ration and 
a biscuit each. The deepest snow we had yet encountered clogged 
our feet, but we plodded downwards, and after descending about 
500 ft., reducing our altitude to 2000 ft. above sea-level, we 
thought we saw the way clear ahead. A steep gradient of blue 
ice was the next obstacle. Worsley and Orean got a firm footing in 
a hole excavated with the adze and then lowered me as I cut steps 
until the full 50 ft. of our alpine rope was out. Then I made a 
hole big enough for the three of us, and the other two men came 
down the steps. My end of the rope was anchored to the adze 
and I had settled myself in the hole braced for a strain in case 
they slipped. When we all stood in the second hole I went down 
again to make more steps, and in this laborious fashion we spent 
two hours descending about 500 ft. Halfway down we had to 
strike away diagonally to the left, for we noticed that the frag- 
ments of ice loosed by the adze were taking a leap into space at 
the bottom of the slope. Eventually we got off the steep ice, very 
gratefully, at a point where some rocks protruded, and we could see 
then that there was a perilous precipice directly below the point 
where we had started to cut steps. A slide down a slippery slope, 
with the adze and our cooker going ahead, completed this descent, 
and incidentally did considerable damage to our much-tried 
trousers. 

When we picked ourselves up at the bottom we were not more 
than 1500 ft. above the sea. The slope was comparatively easy. 
Water was running beneath the snow, making " pockets " be- 
tween the rocks that protruded above the white surface. The 
shells of snow over these pockets were traps for our feet ; but we 
scrambled down, and presently came to patches of tussock. A few 
minutes later we reached the sandy beach. The tracks of some 
animals were to be seen, and we were puzzled until I remembered 
that reindeer, brought from Norway, had been placed on the island 
and now ranged along the lower land of the eastern coast. We did 
not pause to investigate. Our minds were set upon reaching the 
haunts of man, and at our best speed we went along the beach to 
another rising ridge of tussock. Here we saw the first evidence 



206 CEOSSlNG THE SOUTH POLE 

of the proximity of man, whose work, as is so often the case, 
was one of destruction. A recently killed seal was lying there, and 
presently we saw several other hodies bearing the marks of bullet- 
wounds. I learned later that men from the whaling-station at 
Stronmess sometimes go round to Fortuna Bay by boat to shoot 
seals. 

Noon found us well up the slope on the other side of the bay 
working east-south-east, and half an hour later we were on a flat 
plateau, with one more ridge to cross before we descended into 
Huvik. I was leading the way over this plateau when I sud- 
denly found myself up to my knees in water and quickly sinking 
deeper through the snow-crust. I flung myself down and called to 
the others to do the same, so as to distribute our weight on the 
treacherous surface. We were on top of a small lake, snow- 
covered. After lying still for a few moments we got to our feet 
and walked delicately, like Agag, for 200 yds., until a rise in the 
surface showed us that we were clear of the lake. 

At 1.30 p.m. we climbed round a final ridge and saw a little 
steamer, a whaling-boat, entering the bay 2500 ft. below. A few 
moments later, as we hurried forward, the masts of a sailing-ship 
lying at a wharf came in sight. Minute figures moving to and fro 
about the boats caught our gaze, and then we saw the sheds and 
factory of Stromness whaling-station. We paused and shook 
hands, a form of mutual congratulation that had seemed necessary 
on four other occasions in the course of the expedition. The first 
time was when we landed on Elephant Island, the second when we 
reached South Georgia, and the third when we reached the ridge 
and saw the snow-slope stretching below on the first day of the 
overland journey, then when we saw Huvik rocks. 

Cautiously we started down the slope that led to warmth and 
comfort. The last lap of the journey proved extraordinarily diffi- 
cult. Vainly we searched for a safe, or a reasonably safe, way 
down the steep, ice-clad mountain-side. The sole possible pathway 
seemed to be a channel cut by water running from the upland. 
Down through icy water we followed the course of this stream. 
We were wet to the waist, shivering, cold, and tired. Presently 



AOEOSS SOUTH GEORGIA 207 

our ears detected an unwelcome sound, that might have been 
musical under other conditions. It was the splashing of a water- 
fall, and we were at the wrong end. When we reached the top of 
this fall we peered over cautiously and discovered that there was 
a drop of 25 or 30 ft., with impassable ice-cliffs on both sides. To 
go up again was scarcely thinkable in our utterly wearied con- 
dition. The way down was through the waterfall itself. We 
made fast one end of our rope to a boulder with some difficulty, due 
to the fact that the rocks had been worn smooth by the running 
water. Then Worsley and I lowered Crean, who was the heaviest 
man. He disappeared altogether in the falling water and came 
out gasping at the bottom. I went next, sliding down the rope, 
and Worsley, who was the lightest and most nimble member of 
the party, came last. At the bottom of the fall we were able to 
stand again on dry land. The rope could not be recovered. We 
had flung down the adze from the top of the fall and also the log- 
book and the cooker wrapped in one of our blouses. That was all, 
except our wet clothes, that we brought out of the Antarctic, which 
we had entered a year and a half before with well-found ship, full 
equipment, and high hopes. That was all of tangible things ; but 
in memories we were rich. We had pierced the veneer of outside 
things. We had " suffered, starved and triumphed, grovelled 
down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the 
whole." We had seen God in His splendours, heard the text that 
Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man. 

Shivering with cold, yet with hearts light and happy, we set 
off towards the whaling-station, now not more than a mile and a 
half distant. The difficulties of the journey lay behind us. We 
tried to straighten ourselves up a bit, for the thought that there 
might be women at the station made us painfully conscious of our 
uncivilized appearance. Our beards were long and our hair was 
matted. We were unwashed and the garments that we had worn 
for nearly a year without a change were tattered and stained. 
Three more unpleasant-looking ruffians could hardly have been 
imagined. Worsley produced several safety-pins from some corner 
of his garments and effected some temporary repairs that really 



208 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

emphasized his general disrepair. Down we hurried, and when 
quite close to the station we met two small boys ten or twelve years 
of age. I asked these lads where the manager's house was situated. 
They did not answer. They gave us one look — a comprehensive 
look that did not need to be repeated. Then they ran from us as 
fast as their legs would carry them. We reached the outskirts of 
the station and passed through the " digesting-house," which was 
dark inside. Emerging at the other end, we met an old man, who 
started as if he had seen the Devil himself and gave us no time 
to ask any question. He hurried away. This greeting was not 
friendly. Then we came to the wharf, where the man in charge 
stuck to his station. I asked him if Mr. Sorlle (the manager) was 
in the house. 

" Yes," he said as he stared at us. 

" We would like to see him," said I. 

" Who are you ? " he asked. 

" We have lost our ship and come over the island," I replied. 

" You have come over the island ? " he said in a tone of entire 
disbelief. 

The man went towards the manager's house and we followed 
him. I learned afterwards that he said to Mr. Sorlle : " There are 
three funny-looking men outside, who say they have come over the 
island and they know you. I have left them outside." A very 
necessary precaution from his point of view. 

Mr. Sorlle came out to the door and said, " Well ? " 

" Don't you know me ? " I said. 

" I know your voice," he replied doubtfully. " You're the 
mate of the Daisy." 

" My name is Shackleton," I said. 

Immediately he put out his hand and said, " Come in. Come 
in." 

" Tell me, when was the war over ? " I asked. 

" The war is not over," he answered. " Millions are being 
killed. Europe is mad. The world is mad." 

Mr. Sorlle's hospitality had no bounds. He would scarcely let 
us wait to remove our freezing boots before he took ua into his house 



210 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

and gave us seats in a warm and comfortable room. We were 
in no condition to sit in anybody's house until we bad washed and 
got into clean clothes, but the kindness of the station-manager was 
proof even against the unpleasantness of being in a room with us. 
He gave us coffee and cakes in the Norwegian fashion, and then 
showed us upstairs to the bathroom, where we shed our rags and 
scrubbed ourselves luxuriously. 

Mr. Sorlle's kindness did not end with his personal care for the 
three wayfarers who had come to his door. While we were wash- 
ing he gave orders for one of the whaling vessels to be prepared at 
once in order that it might leave that night for the other side of the 
island and pick up the three men there. The whalers knew King 
Haakon Bay, though they never worked on that side of the island. 
Soon we were clean again. Then we put on delightful new clothes 
supplied from the station stores and got rid of our superfluous hair. 
Within an hour or two we had ceased to be savages and had be- 
come civilized men again. Then came a splendid meal, while 
Mr. Sorlle told us of the arrangements he had na'ade and we dis- 
cussed plans for the rescue of the main party on Elephant Island. 

I arranged that Worsley should go with the relief ship to show 
the exact spot where the carpenter and his two companions were 
camped, while I started to prepare for the relief of the party on 
Elephant Island. The whaling vessel that was going round to 
King Haakon Bay was expected back on the Monday morning, and 
was to call at Grytviken Harbour, the port from which we had 
sailed in December, 1914, in order that the magistrate resident 
there might be informed of the fate of the Endurance. It was pos- 
sible that letters were awaiting us there. Worsley went aboard the 
whaler at ten o'clock that night and turned in. The next day the 
relief ship entered King Haakon Bay and he reached Peggotty 
Camp in a boat. The three men were delighted beyond measure 
to know that we had made the crossing in safety and that their 
wait under the upturned James Caird was ended. Curiously 
enough, they did not recognize Worsley, who had left them a hairy, 
dirty ruffian and had returned his spruce and shaven self. They 
thought he was one of the whalers. When one of them asked why 




I'ANORAMA 




GEORGIA 



Phiitoijiaph hii F. Eiu'ley 



AOKOSS SOUTH OEOEGIA 211 

no member of the party had come round with the relief, Worsley 
said, " What do you mean ? " " We thought the boss or one of 
the others would come round," they explained. " What's the 
matter with you ? " said Worsley. Then it suddenly dawned upon 
them that they were talking to the man who had been their close 
companion for a year and a half. Within a few minutes the 
whalers had moved our bits of gear into their boat. They towed off 
the James Caird and hoisted her to the deck of their ship. Then 
they started on the return voyage. Just at dusk on Monday after- 
noon they entered Stromness Bay, where the men of the whaling- 
station mustered on the beach to receive the rescued party and to 
examine with professional interest the boat we had navigated across 
800 miles of the stormy ocean they knew so well. 

When I look back at those days I have no doubt that Providence 
guided us, not only across those snow-fields, but across the storm- 
white sea that separated Elephant Island from our landing-place 
on South Georgia. I know that during that long and racking 
march of thirty-six hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers 
of South Georgia it seemed to me often that we were four, not 
three. I said nothing to my companions on the point, but after- 
wards Worsley said to me, " Boss, I had a curious feeling on the 
march that there was another person with us." Crean confessed 
to the same idea. One feels " the dearth of human words, the 
roughness of mortal speech " in trying to describe things intan- 
gible, but a record of our journeys would be incomplete without 
a reference to a subject very near to our hearts. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE EESCUB 

OtTE first night at the wlialing-statioii was blissful. Crean and 
I shared a beautiful room in Mr. Sorlle's house, with electric light 
and two beds, warm and soft. We were so comfortable that we 
were unable to sleep. Late at night a steward brought us tea, 
bread and butter and cakes, and we lay in bed revelling in the lux- 
ury of it all. Outside a dense snowstorm, which started two 
hours after our arrival and lasted until the following day, was 
swirling and driving about the mountain-slopes. We were thank- 
ful indeed that we had made a place of safety, for it would have 
gone hard with us if we had been out on the mountains that night. 
Deep snow lay everywhere when we got up the following morning. 
After breakfast Mr. Sorlle took us around to Huvik in a motor- 
launch. We were listening avidly to his account of the war and 
of all that had happened while we were out of the world of men. 
We were like men arisen from the dead to a world gone mad. 
Our minds accustomed themselves gradually to the tales of nations 
in arms, of deathless courage and unimagined slaughter, of a 
world-conflict that had grown beyond all conceptions, of vast red 
battlefields in grimmest contrast with the frigid whiteness we had 
left behind us. The reader may not realize quite how difficult it 
was for us to envisage nearly two years of the most stupendous 
war of history. The locking of the -armies in the trenches, the 
sinking of the LusitCmia, the murder of Nurse Cavell, the use of 
poison-gas and liquid fire, the submarine warfare, the Gallipoli 
campaign, the hundred other incidents of the war, almost stunned 
us at first, and then our minds began to compass the train of 
events and develop a perspective. I suppose our experience was 

unique. No other civilized men could have been as blankly ig- 

212 



THE EESCUE 213 

norant of world-sHaking happenings as we were when we reached 
Stromness whaling-station. 

I heard the first rumonr of the Aurora's misadventures in the 
Eoss Sea from Mr. Sorlle. Our host could tell me very little. 
He had been informed that the Aurora had broken away from 
winter quarters in McMurdo Sound and reached ISTew Zealand 
after a long drift, and that there was no news of the shore party. 
His information was indefinite as to details, and I had to wait 
until I reached the Falkland Islands some time later before get- 
ting a definite report concerning the Aurora. The rumour that 
had reached South Georgia, however, made it more than ever 
important that I should bring out the rest of the Weddell Sea 
party quickly, so as to free myself for whatever effort was required 
on the Eoss Sea side. 

When we reached Huvik that Sunday morning we were 
warmly greeted by the magistrate (Mr. Bemsten), whom I knew 
of old, and the other members of the little community. Moored 
in the harbour was one of the largest of the whalers, the Southern 
Shy, owned by an English company but now laid up for the win- 
ter. I had no means of getting into communication with the 
owners without dangerous delay, and on my accepting all responsi- 
bility Mr. Bemsten made arrangements for me to take this ship 
down to Elephant Island. I wrote out an agreement with Lloyd's 
for the insurance of the ship. Captain Thorn, an old friend of 
the Expedition, happened to be in Huvik with his ship, the 
Orwell, loading oil for use in Britain's munition works, and he 
at once volunteered to come with us in any capacity I asked him 
to come as captain of the Southern Shy. There was no difiiculty 
about getting a crew. The whalers were eager to assist in the 
rescue of men in distress. They started work that Sunday to 
prepare and stow the ship. Parts of the engine were ashore, but 
willing hands made light labour. I purchased from the station 
stores all the stores and equipment required, including special 
comforts for the men we hoped to rescue, and by Tuesday morn- 
ing the Southern Sky was ready to sail. I feel it is my duty as 
well as my pleasure to thank here the Norwegian whalers of South 



214 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Georgia for the sympathetic hands they stretched out to us in our 
need. Among memories of kindness received in many lands 
sundered by the seas, the recollection of the hospitality and help 
given to me in South Georgia ranks high. There is a brotherhood 
of the sea. The men vfho go down to the sea in ships, serving 
and suffering, fighting their endless battle against the caprice of 
wind and ocean, bring into their own horizons the perils and 
troubles of their brother sailormen. 

The Southern Sky was ready on Tuesday morning, and at nine 
o'clock we steamed out of the bay, while the whistles of the whal- 
ing-station sounded a friendly farewell. We had foregathered 
aboard Captain Thorn's ship on the Monday night with several 
whaling captains who were bringing up their sons to their own 
profession. They were " old stagers " with faces lined and 
seamed by the storms of half a century, and they were even more 
interested in the story of our voyage from Elephant Island than 
the younger generation was. They congratulated us on hav- 
ing accomplished a remarkable boat journey. I do not wish to 
belittle our success with the pride that apes humility. Under 
Providence we had overcome great difiiculties and dangers, and 
it was pleasant to tell the tale to men who knew those sullen and 
treacherous southern seas. 

McCarthy, MclSTeish, and Vincent had been landed on the Mon- 
day afternoon. They were already showing some signs of in- 
creasing strength under a regimen of warm quarters and abundant 
food. The carpenter looked woefully thin after he had emerged 
from a bath. He must have worn a lot of clothes when he landed 
from the boat, and I did not realize how he had wasted till I saw 
him washed and changed. He was a man over fifty years of age, 
and the strain had told upon him more than upon the rest of us. 
The rescue came just in time for him. 

The early part of the voyage down to Elephant Island in the 
Southern Shy was uneventful. At noon on Tuesday, May 33, we 
were at sea and steaming at ten knots on a south-westerly course. 
We made good progress, but the temperature fell very low, and 
the signs gave me some cause for anxiety as to the probability 



THE RESCUE 215 

of encoTintermg ice. On the third night out the sea seemed to 
grow silent. I looked over the side and saw a thin fibn of ice. 
The sea was freezing around us and the ice gradually grew 
thicker, reducing our speed to about five knots. Then lumps of 
old pack began to appear among the new ice. I realized that an 
advance through pack-ioe was out of the question. The Southern 
Shy was a steel-built steamer, and her structure, while strong to 
resist the waves, would not endure the blows of masses of ice. 
So I took the ship north, and at daylight on Friday we got clear 
of the pancake-ice. We skirted westward, awaiting favourable 
conditions. The morning of the 28th was dull and overcast, with 
little wind. Again the ship's head was turned to the south-west, 
but at 3 p.m. a definite line of pack showed up on the horizon. 
We were about 70 miles from Elephant Island, but there was no 
possibility of taking the steamer through the ice that barred the 
way. !N^orth-west again we turned. We were directly north of 
the island on the following day, and I made another move south. 
Heavy pack formed an impenetrable barrier. 

To admit failure at this stage was hard, but the facts had to be 
faced. The Southern Sky could not enter ice of even moderate 
thickness. The season was late, and we could not be sure that 
the ice would open for many months, though my opinion was that 
the pack would not become fast in that quarter even in the win- 
ter, owing to the strong winds and currents. The Southern Sky 
could carry coal for ten days only, and we had been out six days. 
We were 500 miles from the Falkland Islands and about 600 miles 
from South Georgia. So I determined that, since we could not 
wait about for an opening, I would proceed to the Falklands, 
get a more suitable vessel either locally or from England, and 
make a second attempt to reach Elephant Island from that point. 

We encountered very bad weather on the way up, but in the 
early afternoon of May 31 we arrived at Port Stanley, where the 
cable provided a link with the outer world. The harbour-master 
came out to meet us, and after we had dropped anchor I went 
ashore and met the Gt)vemor, Mr. Douglas Young. lie offered 
me his assistance at once. He telephoned to Mr. Harding, the 



2ie CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

manager of the Ealkland Island station, and I learned, to my keen 
regret, that no ship of the type required was available at the 
islands. That evening I cabled to London a message to His Maj- 
esty the King the first account of the loss of the Endurance and 
the subsequent adventures of the Expedition. The next day I re- 
ceived the following message from the King: 

" Rejoice to hear of your safe arrival in the Falkland Islands 
and trust your comrades on Elephant Island may soon be rescued. 

" Gbomk R.I." 

The events of the days that followed our arrival at the Talk- 
land Islands I will not attempt to describe in detail. My mind 
was bent upon the rescue of the party on Elephant Island at the 
earliest possible moment. Winter was advancing, and I was 
fully conscious that the lives of some of my comrades might be 
the price of unnecessary delay. A proposal had been made to 
send a relief ship from England, but she could not reach the 
southern seas for many weeks. In the meantime I got into com- 
munication with the Governments of the South American Repub- 
lics by wireless and cable and asked if they had any suitable ship 
I could use for a rescue. I wanted a wooden ship capable of 
pushing into loose ice, with fair speed and a reasonable coal ca- 
pacity. Messages of congratulation and goodwill were reaching 
me from all parts of the world, and the kindness of hundreds of 
friends in many lands was a very real comfort in a time of anxiety 
and stress. 

The British Admiralty informed me that no suitable vessel was 
available in England and that no relief could be expected before 
October. I replied that October would be too late. Then the 
British Minister in Monte Video telegraphed me regarding a 
trawler named Instituto de Pesca No. 1, belonging to the Uru- 
guayan Government. She was a stout little vessel, and the Gov- 
ernment had generously offered to equip her with coal, provisions, 
clothing, etc., and send her across to the Falkland Islands for me 
to take down to Elephant Island. I accepted this offer gladly, 



THE RESCUE 21T 

and the trawler was in Port Stanley on June 10. We started 
soutli at once. 

The weather was bad but the trawler made good progress, steam- 
ing steadily at about six knots, and in the bright, clear dawn of 
the third day we sighted the peaks of Elephant Island. Hope 
ran high ; but our ancient enemy the pack was lying in wait, and 
within twenty miles of the island the trawler was stopped by an 
impenetrable barrier of ice. The pack lay in the form of a cres- 
cent, with a horn to the west of the ship stretching north. Steam- 
ing north-east, we reached another horn and saw that the pack, 
heavy and dense, then trended away to the east. We made an 
attempt to push into the ice, but it was so heavy that the trawler 
was held up at once and began to grind in the small thick floes, 
so we cautiously backed out. The propeller, going slowly, was 
not damaged, though any moment I feared we might strip the 
blades. The island lay on our starboard quarter, but there was 
no possibility of approaching it. The Uruguayan engineer re- 
ported to me that he had three days' coal left, and I had to give 
the order to turn back. A screen of fog hid the lower slopes of 
the island, and the men watching from the camp on the beach 
could not have seen the ship. Northward we steamed again, with 
the engines knocking badly, and after encountering a new gale, 
made Port Stanley with the bunkers nearly empty and the engines 
almost broken down. H.M.S. Glasgow was in the port, and the 
British sailors gave us a hearty welcome as we steamed in. 

The Uruguayan Government offered to send the trawler to 
Punta Arenas and have her dry-docked there and made ready for 
another effort. One of the troubles on the voyage was that ac- 
cording to estimate the trawler could do ten knots on six tons 
of coal a day, which would have given us a good margin to allow 
for lying off the ice ; but in reality, owing to the fact that she had 
not been in dock for a year, she only developed a speed of six 
knots on a consumption of ten tons a day. Time was precious 
and these preparations would have taken too long. I thanked 
the Government then for its very generous offer, and I want to 
say now that the kindness of the Uruguayans at this time earned 



218 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

my warmest gratitude. I ought to mention also the assistance 
given me by Lieut. Ryan, a Naval Reserve officer who navigated 
the trawler to the Ealklands and came south on the attempt at 
relief. The Instituto de Pesca went off to Monte Video and I 
looked around for another ship. 

A British mail-boat, the Orita, called at Port Stanley oppor- 
tunely, and I boarded her with Worsley and Crean and crossed 
to Punta Arenas in the Magellan Straits. The reception we re- 
ceived there was heartening. The members of the British Asso- 
ciation of Magellanes took us to their hearts. Mr. Allan Mc- 
Donald was especially prominent in his untiring efforts to assist 
in the rescue of our twenty-two companions on Elephant Island. 
He worked day and night, and it was mainly due to him that 
within three days they had raised a sum of £1500 amongst them- 
selves, chartered the schooner Emma and equipped her for our 
use. She was a forty-year-old oak schooner, strong and sea- 
worthy, with an auxiliary oil engine. 

Out of the complement of ten men all told, who were manning 
the ship, there were eight different nationalities; but they were 
all good fellows and understood perfectly what was wanted. The 
Chilian Government lent us a small steamer, the YeJchOj to tow us 
part of the way. She could not touch ice, though, as she was built 
of steel. However, on July 12 we passed her our tow-rope and 
proceeded on our way. In bad weather we anchored next day, 
and although the wind increased to a gale, I could delay no longer, 
so we hove up anchor in the early morning of the 14th. The 
strain on the tow-rope was too great. With the crack of a gun 
the rope broke. Next day the gale continued, and I will quote 
from the log of the Emma, which Worsley kept as navigating 
officer. " 9 a.m. — Fresh, increasing gale ; very rough, lumpy sea. 
10 a.m. — Tow-rope parted. 12 noon. Similar weather. 1 p.m. 
— Tow-rope parted again. Set foresail and forestay-sail and 
steered south-east by south. 3 p.m. — Yelcho hailed us and said 
that the ship's bilges were full of water (so were our decks) and 
they were short of coal. Sir Ernest told them that they could 
return to harbour. After this the Yelcho steamed into San 



THE RESCUE 219 

Sebastian Bay." After three days of continuous bad weather 
we were left alone to attranpt once more to rescue the twenty-two 
men on Elephant Island, for whom by this time I entertained 
very grave fears. 

At dawn on Friday, July 21, we were within a hundred miles 
of the island, and we encountered the ice in the half-light. I 
waited for the full day and then tried to push through. The 
little craft was tossing in the heavy swell, and before she had been 
in the pack for ten minutes she came down on a cake of ice and 
broke the bobstay. Then the water-inlet of the motor choked 
with ice. The schooner was tossing like a cork in the swell, and I 
saw after a few bumps that she was actually lighter than the frag- 
ments of ice around her. Progress under such conditions was out 
of the question. I worked the schooner out of the pack and stood 
to the east. I ran her through a line of pack towards the south 
that night, but was forced to turn to the north-east, for the ice 
trended in that direction as far as I could see. We hove to for the 
night, which was now sixteen hours long. The winter was well 
advanced and the weather conditions were thoroughly bad. The 
ice to the southward was moving north rapidly. The motor-engine 
had broken down and we were entirely dependent on the sails. 
We managed to make a little southing during the next day, but 
noon found us 108 miles from the island. That night we lay off 
the ice in a gale, hove to, and morning foixnd the schooner iced up. 
The ropes, cased in frozen spray, were as thick as a man's arm, and 
if the wind had increased much we would have had to cut away 
the sails, since there was no possibility of lowering them. Some 
members of the scratch crew were played out by the cold and the 
violent tossing. The schooner was about seventy feet long, and 
she responded to the motions of the storm-racked sea in a manner 
that might have disconcerted the most seasoned sailors. 

I took the schooner south at every chance, but always the line of 
ice blocked the way. The engineer, who happened to be an Amer- 
ican, did things to the engines occasionally, but he could not keep 
them running, and the persistent south winds were dead ahead. 
It was hard to turn back a third time, but I realized we could not 



220 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

reach the island under those conditions, and we must turn north 
in order to clear the ship of heavy masses of ice. So we set a 
northerly course, and after a tempestuous passage reached Port 
Stanley once more. This was the third reverse, but I did not 
abandon my belief that the ice would not remain fast around Ele- 
phant Island during the winter, whatever the armchair experts 
at home might say. 

We reached Port Stanley in the schooner on August 8, and I 
learned there that the ship Discovery was to leave England at 
once and would be at the Falkland Islands about the middle of 
September. My good friend the Governor said I could settle 
down at Port Stanley and take things quietly for a few weeks. 
The street of that port is about a mile and a half long. It has 
the slaughter-house at one end and the graveyard at the other. 
The chief distraction is to walk from the slaughter-house to the 
graveyard. Eor a change one may walk from the graveyard to 
the slaughter-house. EUaline Terriss was born at Port Stanley 
— a fact not forgotten by the residents, but she has not lived there 
much since. I could not content myself to wait for six or seven 
weeks, knowing that six hundred miles away my comrades were 
in dire need. I asked the Chilian Government to send the Yelcho, 
the steamer that had towed us before, to take the schooner across 
to Punta Arenas, and they consented promptly, as they had done 
to every other request of mine. So in a north-west gale we went 
across, narrowly escaping disaster on the way, and reached Punta 
Arenas on August 14. 

There was no suitable ship to be obtained. The weather was 
showing some signs of improvement, and I begged the Chilian 
Government to let me have the Yelcho for a last attempt to reach 
the island. She was a small steel-built steamer, quite unsuitable 
for work in the pack, but I promised that I would not touch the 
ice. The Government was willing to give me another chance, and 
on August 25 I started south on the fourth attempt at relief. 
This time Providence favoured us. The little steamer made a 
quick run down in comparatively fine weather, and I found as 
we neared Elephant Island that the ice was open. A southerly 



THE RESCUE 221 

gale had sent it northward temporarily, and the Yelcho had her 
chance to slip through. We approached the island in a thick fog. 
I did not dare to wait for this to clear, and at 10 a.m. on August 
30 we passed some stranded bergs. Then we saw the sea break- 
ing on a reef, and I knew that we were just outside the island. 
It was an anxious moment, for we had still to locate the camp 
and the pack could not be trusted to allow time for a prolonged 
search in thick weather ; but presently the fog lifted and revealed 
the cliffs and glaciers of Elephant Island. I proceeded to the 
east, and at 11.40 a.m. Worsley's keen eyes detected the camp, al- 
most invisible under its covering of snow. The men ashore saw 
us at the same time, and we saw tiny black figures hurry to the 
beach and wave signals to us. We were about a mile and a half 
away from the camp. I turned the Yelcho in, and within half 
an hour reached the beach with Crean and some of the Chilian 
sailors. I saw a little figure on a surf-beaten rock and recognized 
Wild. As I came nearer I called out, " Are you all well ? " and 
he answered, " We are all well, boss," and then I heard three 
cheers. As I drew close to the rock I flung packets of cigarettes 
ashore ; they fell on them like hungry tigers, for well I know that 
for months tobacco was dreamed of and talk of. Some of the 
hands were in a rather bad way, but he had held the party to- 
gether and kept hope alive in their hearts. There was no time 
to exchange news or congratulations. I did not even go up the 
beach to see the camp, which Wild assured me had been much 
improved. A heavy sea was running and a change of wind might 
bring the ice back at any time. I hurried the party aboard with 
all possible speed, taking also the records of the Expedition and 
essential portions of equipment. Everybody was aboard the 
Yelcho within an hour, and we steamed north at the little steamer's 
best speed. The ice was open still, and nothing worse than an 
expanse of stormy ocean separated us from the South American 
coast. 

During the run up to Punta Arenas I heard Wild's story, and 
blessed again the cheerfulness and resource that had served the 
party so well during four and a half months of privation. The 



222 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

twenty-two men on Elephant Island were just at the end of their 
resources when the Yelcho reached them. Wild had husbanded 
the scanty stock of food as far as possible and had fought off the 
devils of despondency and despair on that little sand-pit, where 
the party had a precarious foothold between the grim ice-fields and 
the treacherous ice-strewn sea. The pack had opened occasionally, 
but much of the time the way to the north had been barred. The 
Yelcho had arrived at the right moment. Two days earlier she 
could not have reached the island, and a few hours later the pack 
may have been impenetrable again. Wild had reckoned that help 
would come in August, and every morning he had packed his kit, 
in cheerful anticipation that proved infectious, as I have no doubt 
it was meant to be. One of the party to whom I had said, " Well, 
you all were packed up ready," replied, " You see, boss, Wild never 
gave up hope, and whenever the sea was at all clear of ice he rolled 
up his sleeping-bag and said to all hands, ' E^U up your sleeping- 
bags, boys ; the boss may come to-day ' " ; and so it came to pass 
that we suddenly came out of the fog, and, from a black outlook, 
in an hour all were in safety homeward bound. The food was 
eked out with seal- and penguin-meat, limpets, and seaweed. 
Seals had been scarce, but the supply of penguins had held out 
fairly well during the first three months. The men were down 
to the last Bovril ration, the only form of hot drink they had, and 
had scarcely four days' food in hand at the time of the rescue. 
The camp was in constant danger of being buried by the snow, 
which drifted heavily from the heights behind, and the men moved 
the accumulations with what implements they could provide. 
There was danger that the camp would become completely in- 
visible from the sea, so that a rescue party might look for it in 
vain. 

" It had been arranged that a gun should be fired from the 
relief ship when she got near the island," said Wild. " Many 
times when the glaciers were ' calving,' and chunks fell off with 
a report like a gun, we thought that it was the real thing, and 
after a time we got to distrust these signals. As a matter of fact, 
we saw the Yelcho before we heard any gun. It was an occasion 




PhotOijraph by F. Uurleif 
FRANK WILD, SECOND IN COjMMAND OF THE EXPEDITION 



THE KESOUE 223 

one will not easily forget. We were just assembling for lunch to 
the call of ' Lunch O ! ' and I was serving out the soup, which was 
particularly good that day, consisting of boiled seals' backbone, 
limpets, and seaweed, when there was another hail from Marston 
of ' Ship O ! ' Some of the men thought it was ' Lunch ! ' over 
again, but when there was another yell from Marston lunch had 
no further attractions. The ship was about a mile and a haK 
away and steaming past us. A smoke-signal was the agreed sign 
from the shore, and, catching up somebody's coat that was lying 
about, I struck a pick into a tin of kerosene kept for the purpose, 
poured it over the coat, and set it alight. It flared instead of 
smoking; but that didn't matter, for you had already recognized 
the spot where you had left us and the Yelcho was turning in." 

We encountered bad weather on the way back to Punta Arenas, 
and the little Yelcho laboured heavily ; but she had light hearts 
aboard. We entered the Straits of Magellan on September 3 and 
reached Rio Secco at 8 a.m. I went ashore, found a telephone, 
and told the Governor and my friends at Punta Arenas that the 
men were safe. Two hours later we were at Punta Arenas, 
where we were given a welcome none of us is likely to forget. 
The Chilian people were no less enthusiastic than the British 
residents. The police had been instructed to spread the news 
that the Yelcho was coming with the rescued men, and lest the 
message should fail to reach some people, the fire-alarm had been 
rung. The whole populace appeared to be in the streets. It 
was a great reception, and with the strain of long, anxious months 
lifted at last, we were in a mood to enjoy it. 

, The next few weeks were crowded ones, but I will not attempt 
here to record their history in detail. I received congratulations 
and messages of friendship and good cheer from all over the world, 
and my heart went out to the good people who had remembered 
my men and myself in the press of terrible events on the battle- 
fields. The Chilian Government placed the Yelcho at my disposal 
to take the men up to Valparaiso and Santiago. We reached Val- 
paraiso on September 27. Everything that could swim in the 
way of a boat was out to meet us, the crews of Chilian warships 



224 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

were lined up, and at least thirty thousand thronged the streets. I 
lectured in Santiago on the following evening for the British Eed 
Cross and a Chilian naval charity. The Chilian flag and the 
Union Jack were draped together, the band played the Chilian 
national anthem, " God Save the King," and the " Marseillaise," 
and the Chilian Minister for Foreign Affairs spoke from the plat- 
form and pinned an Order on my coat. I saw the President and 
thanked him for the help that he had given a British expedition. 
His Government had spent £4000 on coal alone. In reply he re- 
called the part that British sailors had taken in the making of the 
Chilian Navy. 

The Chilian Railway Department provided a special train to 
take us across the Andes, and I proceeded to Monte Video in order 
to thank personally the President and Government of Uruguay 
for the help they had given generously in the earlier relief voy- 
ages. We were entertained royally at various spots en route. 
We went also to Bjienos Ayres on a brief call. Then we crossed 
the Andes again. I had made arrangements by this time for the 
men and the staff to go to England. All hands were keen to 
take their places in the Empire's fighting forces. My own im- 
mediate task was the relief of the marooned Ross Sea party, for 
news had come to me of the Aurora's long drift in the Ross Sea 
and of her return in a damaged condition to New Zealand. Wora- 
ley was to come with me. We hurried northwards via Panama, 
steamship and train companies giving us everywhere the most 
cordial and generous assistance, and caught at San Francisco a 
steamer that would get us to New Zealand at the end of November. 
I had been informed that the New Zealand Government was mak- 
ing arrangements for the relief of the Ross Sea party, but my 
information was incomplete, and I was very anxious to be on the 
spot myself as quickly as possible. 



CHAPTEE XII 

ELEPHANT ISLAJ^TD 

The twenty-two men who liad been left behind on Elephant 
Island were under the command of Wild, in whom I had absolute 
confidence, and the account of their experiences during the long 
foiir and a half months' wait, while I was trying to get help to 
them, I have secured from their various diaries, supplemented 
by details which I obtained in conversation on the voyage back 
to civilization. 

The first consideration, which was even more important than 
that of food, was to provide shelter. The semi-starvation during 
the drift on the ice-floe, added to the exposure in the boats, and 
the inclemencies of the weather encountered after our landing on 
Elephant Island, had left its mark on a good many of them. 
Eickenson, who bore up gamely to the last, collapsed from heart- 
failure. Blackborrow and Hudson could not move. All were 
frost-bitten in varying degrees ; and their clothes which had been 
worn continuously for six months were much the worse for wear. 
The blizzard which sprang up the day that we landed at Cape 
Wild lasted for a fortnight, often blowing at the rate of seventy 
to ninety miles an hour, and occasionally reaching even higher 
figures. The tents which had lasted so well and endured so much 
were torn to ribbons, with the exception of the square tent oc- 
cupied by Hurley, James, and Hudson. Sleeping-bags and clothes 
were wringing wet, and the physical discomforts were tending to 
produce acute mental depression. The two remaining boats had 
been turned upside down with one gunwale resting on the snow, 
and the other raised about two feet on rocks and cases, and under 
these the sailors and some of the scientists, with the two invalids, 
Bickenson and Blackborrow, found head cover at least. Shelter 

225 



226 OEOSSIISTG THE SOUTH POLE 

from the weather and warmth to dry their clothes was imperative, 
so Wild hastened the excavation of the ice-cave in the slope which 
had been started before I left. 

The high temperature, however, caused a continuous stream 
of water to drip from the roof and sides of the ice-cave, and as 
vnth twenty-two men living in it the temperature would be prac- 
tically always above freezing, there would have been no hope of 
dry quarters for them there. Under the direction of Wild they, 
therefore, collected some big flat stones, having in many cases to 
dig down under the snow which was covering the beach, and with 
these they erected two substantial walls four feet high and nine- 
teen feet apart. 

" We are all ridiculously weak, and this part of the work was 
exceedingly laborious and took us more than twice as long as it 
would have done had we been in normal health. Stones that we 
could easily have lifted at other times we found quite beyond our 
capacity, and it needed two or three of us to carry some that 
would otherwise have been one man's load. Our difficulties were 
added to by the fact that most of the more suitable stones lay at 
the further end of the spit some one hundred and fifty yards 
away. Our weakness is best compared with that which one expe- 
riences on getting up from a long illness ; one ' feels ' well, but 
physically enervated. 

" The site chosen for the hut was the spot where the stove had 
been originally erected on the night of our arrival. It lay be- 
tween two large boulders, which, if they would not actually form 
the walls of the hut, would at least provide a valuable protection 
from the wind. Further protection was provided to the north by 
a hill called Penguin Hill, at the end of the spit. As soon as the 
walls were completed and squared off, the two boats were laid 
upside down on them side by side. The exact adjustment of the 
boats took some time, but was of paramoimt importance if our 
structure was to be the permanent affair that we hoped it would 
be. Once in place they were securely chocked up and lashed 
down to the rocks. The few pieces of wood that we had were laid 
across from keel to keel, and over this the material of one of the 



ELEPHANT ISLAND 227 

torn tents was spread and secured with guys to the rocks. The 
walls were ingeniously contrived and fixed up by Marston. First 
he cut the now useless tents into suitable lengths ; then he cut the 
legs of a pair of sea-boots into narrow strips, and using these in 
much the same way that the leather binding is put round the edge 
of upholstered chairs, he nailed the tent-cloth all round the in- 
sides of the outer gunwales of the two boats in such a way that it 
hung down like a valance to the ground, where it was secured with 
spars and oars. A couple of overlapping blankets made the door, 
superseded later by a sack-mouth door cut from one of the tents. 
This consisted of a sort of tube of canvas sewn on to the tent- 
cloth, throifgh which the men crawled in or out, tying it up as one 
would the mouth of a sack as soon as the man had passed through. 
It is certainly the most convenient and efiScient door for these 
conditions that has ever been invented. 

" Whilst the side walls of the hut were being fixed, others pro- 
ceeded to fill the interstices between the stones of the end walls 
with snow. As this was very powdery and would not bind well, 
we eventually had to supplement it with the only spare blanket 
and an overcoat. All this work was very hard on our frost-bitten 
fingers, and materials were very limited. 

" At last all was completed and we were invited to bring in our 
sodden bags which had been lying out in the drizzling rain for 
several hours; for the tents and boats that had previously shel- 
tered them had all been requisitioned to form our new residence. 

" We took our places under Wild's direction. There was no 
squabbling for best places, but it was noticeable that there was 
something in the nature of a rush for the billets up on the thwarts 
of the boats. 

" Eickenson, who was still very weak and ill, but very cheery, 
obtained a place in the boat directly above the stove, and the 
sailors having lived under the Stancomb Wills for a few days 
while she was upside down on the beach, tacitly claimed it as their 
own, and fiocked up on to its thwarts as one man. There was 
one ' upstair ' billet left in this boat, which Wild offered to Ilussey 
and Lees simultaneously, saying that the first man that, got his bag 



228 OEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

up could have the billet. Whilst Lees was calculating the pros and 
cons Hussey got his bag, and had it up just as Lees had determined 
that the pros had it. There were now four men up on the thwarts 
of the Dudley Docker, and the five sailors and Hussey on those of 
the Stancomh Wills, the remainder disposing themselves on the 
floor." 

The floor was at first covered with snow and ice, frozen in 
amongst the pebbles. This was cleared out, and the remainder of 
the tents spread out over the stones. Within the shelter of these 
cramped but comparatively palatial quarters cheerfulness once 
more reigned amongst the party. The blizzard, however, soon 
discovered the flaws in the architecture of their hut, alid the fine 
drift-snow forced its way through the crevices between the stones 
forming the end walls. Jaeger sleeping-bags and coats were 
spread over the outside of these walls, packed over with snow and 
securely frozen up, effectively keeping out this drift. 

At first all the cooking was done outside under the lee of some 
rocks, further protection being provided by a wall of provision 
cases. There were two blubber-stoves made from old oil-drums, 
and one day, when the blizzard was unusually severe, an attempt 
was made to cook the meals inside the hut. There being no means 
of escape for the pungent blubber-smoke, the inmates had rather 
a bad time, some being affected with a form of smoke-blindness 
similar to snow-blindness, very painful and requiring medical 
attention. 

A chimney was soon fitted, made by Kerr out of the tin lining 
of one of the biscuit-cases, and passed through a close-fitting tin 
grummet sewn into the canvas of the roof just between the keels of 
the two boats, and the smoke nuisance was soon a thing of the past. 
Later on, another old oil-drum was made to surround this chimney, 
so that two pots could be cooked at once on the one stove. Those 
whose billets were near the stove suffered from the effects of the 
local thaw caused by its heat, but they were repaid by being able 
to warm up portions of steak and hooshes left over from previous 
meals, and even to warm up those of the less fortunate ones, for a 



ELEPHANT ISLAND 229 

consideration. This consisted generally of part of the hoosh or 
one or two pieces of sugar. 

The cook and his assistant, which latter job was taken by each 
man in turn, were called about 7 a.m., and breakfast was generally 
ready by about 10 a.m. 

Provision cases were then arranged in a wide circle round the 
stove, and those who were fortunate enough to be next to it could 
dry their gear. So that all should benefit equally by this, a sort 
of " General Post " was carried out, each man occupying his place 
at meal-time for one day only, moving up one the succeeding day. 
In this way eventually every man managed to dry his clothes, and 
life began to assume a much brighter aspect. 

The great trouble in the hut was the absence of light. The 
canvas walls were covered with blubber-soot, and with the snow- 
drifts accumulating round the hut its inhabitants were living in 
a state of perpetual night. Lamps were fashioned out of sardine 
tins, with bits of surgical bandage for wicks; but as the oil con- 
sisted of seal-oil rendered down from the blubber, the remaining 
fibrous tissue being issued very sparingly at lunch, by the by, and 
being considered a great delicacy, they were more a means of con- 
serving the scanty store of matches than of serving as illuminants. 

Wild was the first to overcome this difficulty by sewing into the 
canvas wall the glass lid of a chronometer box. Later on three 
other windows were added, the material in this case being some 
celluloid panels from a photograph case of mine which I had left 
behind in a bag. This enabled the occupants of the floor billets 
who were near enough to read and sew, which relieved the 
monotony of the situation considerably. 

" Our reading material consisted at this time of two books of 
poetry, one book of ' ISTordenskjold's Expedition,' one or two torn 
volumes of the ' Encyclopaedia Britannica,' and a penny cookery 
book, owned by Marston. Our clothes, though never presentable, 
as they bore the scars of nearly ten months of rough usage, had to 
be continually patched to keep them together at all." 

As the floor of the hut had been raised by the addition of loads 



230 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

of clean pebbles, from wbicb most of the snow bad been removed, 
during the cold weather it was kept comparatively dry. When, 
however, the temperature rose to just above freezing-point, as oc- 
casionally happened, the hut became the drainage pool of all the 
surrounding hills. Wild was the first to notice it by remarking 
one morning that his sleeping-bag was practically afloat. Other 
men examined theirs with a like result, so bailing operations com- 
menced forthwith. Stones were removed from the floor and a 
large hole dug, and in its gloomy depths the water could be seen 
rapidly rising. Using a saucepan for a bailer, they bailed out over 
100 gallons of dirty water. The next day 150 gallons were re- 
moved, the men taking it in turns to bail at intervals during the 
night; 160 more gallons were bailed out during the next twenty- 
four hours, till one man rather pathetically remarked in his diary, 
" This is what nice mild high temperatures mean to us : no 
wonder we prefer the cold." Eventually, by removing a portion 
of one wall a long channel was dug nearly down to the sea, com- 
pletely solving the problem. Additional precautions were taken 
by digging away the snow which surrounded the hut after each 
blizzard, sometimes entirely obscuring it. 

A huge glacier across the bay behind the hut nearly put an 
end to the party. Enormous blocks of ice weighing many tons 
would break off and fall into the sea, the disturbance thus caused 
giving rise to great waves. One day Marston was outside the 
hut digging up the frozen seal for lunch with a pick, when a noise 
" like an artillery barrage " startled him. Looking up he saw 
that one of these tremendous waves, over thirty feet high, was ad- 
vancing rapidly across the bay, threatening to sweep hut and in- 
habitants into the sea. A hastily shouted warning brought the 
men tumbling out, but fortunately the loose ice which filled the 
bay damped the wave down so much, that, though it flowed right 
under the hut, nothing was carried away. It was a narrow escape, 
though, as had they been washed into the sea nothing could have 
saved them. 

Although they themselves gradually became accustomed to the 
darkness and the dirt, some entries in their diaries show that 



ELEPHANT ISLAND 231 

occasionally they could realize the conditions under which they 
were living. 

" The hut grows more grimy every day. Everything is a sooty 
black. We have arrived at the limit where further increments 
from the smoking stove, blubber lamps, and cooking gear are un- 
noticed. It is at least comforting to feel that we can become no 
filthier. Our shingle floor will scarcely bear examination by 
strong light without causing even us to shudder and express our 
disapprobation at its state. Oil mixed with reindeer hair, bits 
of meat, sennegras, and penguin feathers form a conglomeration 
which cements the stones together. Erom time to time we have 
a spring cleaning, but a fresh supply of flooring material is not 
always available, as all the shingle is frozen up and buried by deep 
rifts. Such is our Home Sweet Home." 

" All joints are aching through being compelled to lie on the 
hard rubbly floor which forms our bedsteads." 

Again, later on, one writes : " Now that Wild's window allows 
a shaft of light to enter our hut, one can begin to ' see ' things 
inside. Previously one relied upon one's sense of touch, assisted 
by the remarks from those whose faces were inadvertently trodden 
on, to guide one to the door. Looking down in the semi-darkness 
to the far end, one observes two very small smoky flares that dimly 
illuminate a row of five, endeavouring to make time pass by 
reading or argument. These are Macklin, Kerr, Wordie, Hudson, 
and Blackborrow — the last two being invalids. 

" The centre of the hut is filled with the cases which do duty 
for the cook's bed, the meat and blubber boxes, and a mummified- 
looking object, which is Lees in his sleeping-bag. The near end 
of the floor space is taken up with the stove, with Wild and 
Mcllroy on one side, and Hurley and James on the other. 
Marston occupies a hammock most of the night — and day — 
which is slung across the entrance. As he is large and the entrance 
very small, he invariably gets bumped by those passing in and 
out. His vocabulary at such times is interesting. 

" In the attic, formed by the two upturned boats, live ten un- 
kempt and careless lodgers, who drop boots, mitts, and other 



232 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

articles of apparel on the men below. Reindeer hairs rain down 
incessantly, day and night, with every movement that they make 
in their moulting bags. These, with penguin feathers and a little 
grit from the floor, occasionally savour the hooshes. Thank heaven 
man is an adaptable brute ! If we dwell sufficiently long in this 
hut, we are likely to alter our method of walking, for our ceiling, 
which is but four feet six inches high at its highest part, coinpels 
us to walk bent double or on all fours. 

" Our doorway — Cheetham is just crawling in now, bringing a 
shower of snow with him — was originally a tent entrance. When 
one wishes to go out, he unties the cord securing the door, and 
crawls or wriggles out, at the same time exclaiming ' Thank 
goodness I'm in the open air ! ' This should suffice to de- 
scribe the atmosphere inside the hut, only pleasant when charged 
with the overpowering yet appetizing smell of burning penguin- 
steaks. 

" Erom all parts there dangles an odd collection of blubbery 
garments, hung up to dry, through which one crawls, much as a 
chicken in an incubator. Our walls of tent canvas admit as much 
light as might be expected from a closed Venetian blind. It is 
astonishing how we have grown accustomed to inconveniences, and 
tolerate, at least, habits which a little time back were regarded 
with repugnance. We have no forks, but each man has a sheath- 
knife and a spoon, the latter in many cases having been fashioned 
from a piece of box lid. The knife serves many purposes. With 
it we kill, skin, and cut up seals and penguins, cut blubber into 
strips for the fire, very carefully scrape the snow off our hut walls, 
and then after a perfunctory rub with an oily penguin skin, use 
it at meals. We axe as regardless of our grime and dirt as are the 
Esquimaux. We have been unable to wash since we left the 'ship, 
nearly ten months ago. Eor one thing we have no soap or towels, 
only -bare necessities being brought with us; and, again, had we 
possessed these articles, our supply of fuel would only permit us 
to melt enough ice for drinking purposes. Had one man washed, 
half a dozen others would have had to go without a drink all day. 
One cannot suck ice to relieve the thirst, as at these low tern- 



ELEPHANT ISLAITD 233 

peratures it cracks the lips and blisters the tongue. Still, we are 
all very cheerful." 

During the whole of their stay on Elephant Island the weather 
was described by Wild as " simply appalling." Stranded as they 
were on a narrow sandy beach surrounded by high mountains, they 
saw little of the scanty sunshine during the brief intervals of clear 
sky. On most days the air was full of snowdrift blown from the 
adjacent heights. Elephant Island being practically on the out- 
side edge of the pack, the winds which passed over the relatively 
warm ocean before reaching it clothed it in a " constant pall of 
fog and snow." 

On April 25, the day after I left for South Georgia, the island 
was beset by heavy pack-ice, with snow and a wet mist. JSText day 
was calmer, but on the 27th, to quote one of the diaries, they ex- 
perienced " the most wretched weather conceivable. Raining all 
night and day, and blowing hard. Wet to the skin." The fol- 
lowing day brought heavy fog and sleet, and a continuance of the 
blizzard. April ended with a terrific windstorm which nearly 
destroyed the hut. The one remaining tent had to be dismantled, 
the pole taken down, and the inhabitants had to lie flat all night 
under the icy canvas. This lasted well into May, and a typical 
May day is described as follows : " A day of terrific winds, 
threatening to dislodge our shelter. The wind is a succession of 
hurricane gusts that sweep down the glacier immediately south- 
south-west of us. Each gust heralds its approach by a low rum- 
bling which increases to a thunderous roar. Snow, stones, and 
gravel are flying about, and any gear left unweighted by very heavy 
stones is carried away to sea." 

Heavy bales of sennegras and boxes of cooking-gear were 
lifted bodily in the air and carried away out of sight. Once the 
wind carried off the floor-cloth of a tent which six men were hold- 
ing on to, and shaking the snow off. These gusts often came with 
alarming suddenness, and without any warning. Hussey was out- 
side in the blizzard digging up the day's meat which had frozen 
to the ground, when a gust caught him and drove him down the 
spit towards the sea. Fortunately when he reached the softer 



234 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

sand and shingle below high-water mark he managed to stick his 
pick into the ground and hold on with both hands till the squall 
had passed. 

On one or two rare occasions they had fine, calm, clear days. 
The glow of the dying sun on the mountains and glaciers filled 
even the most materialistic of them with wonder and admiration. 
These days were sometimes succeeded by calm, clear nights, when, 
but for the cold, they would have stayed out on the sandy beach all 
night. 

About the middle of May a terrific blizzard sprang up, blow- 
ing from sixty to ninety miles an hour, and Wild entertained 
grave fears for their hut. One curious feature noted in this bliz- 
zard was the fact that huge ice-sheets as big as window-panes, and 
about a quarter of an inch thick, were being hurled about by the 
wind, making it as dangerous to walk about outside as if one were 
in an avalanche of splintered glass. Still, these winds from the 
south and south-west, though invariably accompanied by snow and 
low temperatures, were welcome in that they drove the pack-ice 
. away from the immediate vicinity of the island, and so gave rise 
on each occasion to hopes of relief. North-east winds, on the other 
hand, by filling the bays with ice and bringing thick misty weather, 
made it impossible to hope for any ship to approach them. 

Towards the end of May, a period of dead calm set in, with ice 
closely packed all round the island. This gave place to north-east 
winds and mist, and at the beginning of June came another south- 
west blizzard, with cold driving snow. " The blizzard increased 
to terrific gusts during the night, causing us much anxiety for the 
safety of our hut. There was little sleep, all being apprehensive 
of the canvas roof ripping off, and the boats being blown out to 
sea." 

Thus it continued, alternating between south-west blizzards, 
when they were all confined to the hut, and north-east winds bring- 
ing cold, damp, misty weather. 

On June 25 a severe storm from north-west was recorded, ac- 
companied by strong winds and heavy seas, which encroached upon 
their little sandy beach up to within four yards of their hut. 



ELEPHANT ISLAND 235 

Towards the end of July and the beginning of August they had 
a few fine, calm, clear days. Occasional glimpses of the sun, with 
high temperatures, were experienced, after south-west winds had 
blown all the ice away, and the party, their spirits cheered by 
Wild's unfailing optimism, again began to look eagerly for the 
rescue ship. 

The first three attempts at their rescue unfortunately coincided 
with the times when the island was beset with ice, and though on 
the second occasion we approached close enough to fire a gun, in 
the hope that they would hear the sound and know that we were 
safe and well, yet so accustomed were they to the noise made by the 
calving of the adjacent glacier, that either they did not hear or 
the sound passed unnoticed. On August 16 pack was observed on 
the horizon, and next day the bay was filled with loose ice, which 
soon consolidated. Soon afterwards huge old floes and many bergs 
drifted in. " The pack appears as dense as we have ever seen it. 
No open water is visible, and ' ice-blink ' girdles the horizon. The 
weather is vnretched — a stagnant calm of air and ocean alike, the 
latter obscured by dense pack through which no swell can penetrate, 
and a wet mist hangs like a pall over land and sea. The silence 
is oppressive. There is nothing to do but to stay in one's sleeping- 
bag, or else wander in the soft snow and become thoroughly wet." 
Fifteen inches of snow fell in the next twenty-four hours, making 
over two feet between August 18 and 21. A slight swell next 
day from the north-east ground up the pack-ice, but this soon 
subsided, and the pack became consolidated once more. On 
August 27 a strong west-south-west wind sprang up, and drove all 
this ice out of the bay, and except for some stranded bergs, left 
a clear ice-free sea through which we finally made our way from 
Punta Arenas to Elephant Island. 

As soon as I had left the Island to get help for the rest of 
the Expedition, Wild set all hands to collect as many seals and 
penguins as possible, in case their stay was longer than was at 
first anticipated. A sudden rise in temperature caused a whole 
lot to go bad and become unfit for food, so while a fair reserve was 
kept in hand, too much was not accumulated. 



236 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

At first, the meals, consisting mostly of seal-meat with one hot 
drink per day, were cooked on a stove in the open. The snow 
and wind, besides making it very unpleasant for the cook, filled all 
the cooking-pots with sand and grit, so during the winter the cook- 
ing was done inside the hut. 

A little Cerebos salt had been saved, and this was issued out at 
the rate of three-quarters of an ounce per man per week. Some of 
the packets containing the salt had broken, so that all did not get 
the full ration. On the other hand, one man dropped his week's 
ration on the floor of the hut amongst the stones and dirt. It was 
quickly collected, and he found to his delight that he had enough 
now to last him for three weeks. Of course, it was not all salt. 
The hot drink consisted at first of milk made from milk-powder 
up to about one-quarter of its proper strength. This was later on 
diluted still more, and sometimes replaced by a drink made from 
a pea-soup-like packing from the Bovril sledging rations. For 
mid-winter's day celebrations, a mixture of one teaspoonful of 
methylated spirit in a pint of hot water, flavoured with a little 
ginger and sugar, served to remind some of cock-tails and Veuve 
Cliquot. 

At breakfast each had a piece of seal or half a penguin breast. 
Luncheon consisted of one biscuit on three days a week, nut-food 
on Thursday, bits of blubber from which most of the oil had been 
extracted for the lamps, on two days a week, and nothing on the 
remaining day. On this day breakfast consisted of a half-strength 
sledging ration. Supper was almost invariably seal and penguin, 
cut up very finely and fried with a little seal-blubber. 

There were occasionally very welcome variations from this 
menu. Some Paddies — a little white bird not unlike a pigeon — 
were snared with a loop of string, and fried, with one water-sodden 
biscuit, for lunch. Enough barley and peas for one meal all 
round of each had been saved, and when this was issued it was a 
day of great celebration. Sometimes, by general consent, the 
luncheon biscuit would be saved, and, with the next serving of 
biscuit, was crushed in a canvas bag into a powder, and boiled with 



m M!w?r"i8^r:?5T^^=^ 




:Wft^ 




n»!:*a 



ELEPHANT ISLAND 23Y 

a little sugar, making a, very satisfying pudding. When blubber 
■was fairly plentiful, there was always a saucepan of cold water, 
made from melting down the pieces of ice which had broken off 
from the glacier, fallen into the sea, and been washed ashore, for 
them to quench their thirst in. As the experience of Arctic ex- 
plorers tended to show that sea-water produced a form of dysentery, 
Wild was rather diffident about using it. Penguin carcases boiled 
in one part of sea-water to four of fresh were a great success, 
though, and no ill-effects were felt by anybody. 

The ringed penguins migrated north the day after we landed 
at Cape Wild, and though every effort was made to secure as large 
a stock of meat and blubber as possible, by the end of the month 
the supply was so low that only one hot meal a day could be served. 
Twice the usual number of penguin-steaks were cooked at break- 
fast, and the ones intended for supper were kept hot in the pots 
by wrapping up in coats, etc. " Clark put our saucepanful in 
his sleeping-bag to-day to keep it hot, and it really was a great suc- 
cess in spite of the extra helping of reindeer-hairs that it con- 
tained. In this way we can make ten penguin skins do for one 
day." 

Some who were fortunate enough to catch penguins with fairly 
large undigested fish in their gullets used to warm these up in tins 
hung on bits of wire round the stove. 

" All the meat intended for hooshes is cut up inside the hut, as 
it is too cold outside. As the boards which we use for the pur- 
pose are also used for cutting up tobacco, when we still have it, 
a definite flavour is sometimes imparted to the hoosh, which, if 
anything, improves it." 

Their diet was now practically all meat, and not too much of 
that, and all the diaries bear witness to their craving for carbohy- 
drates, such as flour, oatmeal, etc. One man longingly speaks of 
the cabbages which grow on Kerguelen Island. By June 18 
there were only nine hundred lumps of sugar left, i.e., just over 
forty pieces each. Even my readers know what shortage of sugar 
means at this very date, but from a different cause. Under these 



238 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

circumstances it is not surprising that all their thoughts and con- 
versation should turn to food, past and future banquets, and second 
helpings that had been once refused. 

A census was taken, each man being asked to state just what 
he would like to eat at that moment, if he were allowed to have 
anything that he wanted. All, with but one exception, desired 
a suet pudding of some sort — the " duff " beloved of sailors. 
Macklin asked for many returns of scrambled eggs on hot buttered 
toast. Several voted for " a prodigious Devonshire dumpling," 
while Wild wished for " any old dumpling so long as it was a large 
one." The craving for carbohydrates, such as flour and sugar, and 
for fats, was very real. Marston had with him a small penny 
cookery book. Prom this he would read out one recipe each night, 
so as to make them last. This would be discussed very seriously, 
and alterations and improvements suggested, and then they would 
turn into their bags to dream of wonderful meals that they could 
never reach. The following conversation was recorded in one 
diary : 

" Wild : ' Do you like doughnuts ? ' 

" McIleot : ' Eather ! ' 

" Wild : ' Very easily made, too. I like them cold with a little 
jam.' 

" McIleot : ' ISTot bad ; but how about a huge omelette ? ' 

" Wild : ' Fine ! ' (with a deep sigh). 

" Overhead, two of the sailors are discussing some extraordinary 
mixture of hash, apple-sauce, beer, and cheese. Marston is in his 
hammock reading from his penny cookery book. Farther down, 
some one eulogizes Scotch shortbread. Several of the sailors are 
talking of spotted dog, sea-pie, and Lockhart's with great feeling. 
Some one mentions nut-food, whereat the conversation becomes 
general, and we all decide to buy one pound's worth of it as soon 
as we get to civilization, and retire to a country house to eat it 
undisturbed. At present we really mean it, too ! " 

Mid-winter's day, the great Polar festival, was duly observed. 
A " magnificent breakfast " of sledging ration hoosh, full strength, 
and well boiled to thicken it, with hot milk was served. Luncheon 



ELEPHANT ISLAND 239 

consisted of a wonderful pudding, invented by Wild, made of 
powdered biscuit boiled with twelve pieces of mouldy nut-food. 
Supper was a very finely cut seal hoosh flavoured with sugar. 

After supper they had a concert, accompanied by Hussey on 
his " indispensable banjo." This banjo was the last thing to be 
saved off the ship before she sank, and I took it with us as a mental 
tonic. It was carried all the way through with us, and landed on 
Elephant Island practically unharmed, and did much to keep the 
men cheerful. Nearly every Saturday night such a concert was 
held, when each one sang a song about some other member of the 
party. If that other one objected to some of the remarks, a worse 
one was written for the next week. 

The cook, who had carried on so well, and for so long, was given 
a rest on August 9, and each man took it in turns to be cook for 
one week. As the cook and his " mate " had the privilege of 
scraping out the saucepans, there was some anxiety to secure the 
job, especially amongst those with the larger appetites. " The last 
of the methylated spirit was drunk on August 12, and from then 
onwards, the King's health, ' sweethearts and wives,' and ' the 
boss and crew of the Caird ' were drunk in hot water and ginger 
every Saturday night." 

The penguins and seals which had migrated north at the be- 
ginning of winter had not yet returned, or else the ice-foot, which 
surrounded the spit to a thickness of six feet, prevented them from 
coming ashore, so that food was getting short. Old seal-bones, that 
had been used for a meal and then thrown away, were dug up and 
stewed down with sea-water. Penguin carcases were treated like- 
wise. Limpets were gathered from the pools disclosed between 
the rocks below high tide, after the pack-ice had been driven away. 
It was a cold job gathering these little shell-fish, as for each one 
the whole hand and arm had to be plunged into the icy water, and 
many score of these small creatures had to be collected to make 
anything of a meal. Seaweed boiled in sea-water was use to eke 
out the rapidly diminishing stock of seal- and penguin-meat. This 
did not agree with some of the party. Though it was acknowl- 
edged to be very tasty it only served to increase their appetite — a 



240 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

serious thing when there was nothing to satisfy it with ! One man 
remarked in his diary : " We had a sumptuous meal to-day — 
nearly five ounces of solid food each." 

It is largely due to Wild, and to his energy, initiative, and 
resource that the whole party kept cheerful all along, and, indeed, 
came out alive and so well. Assisted by the two surgeons, Drs. 
Mcllroy and Macklin, he had ever a watchful eye for the health of 
each one. His cheery optimism never failed, even when food was 
very short and the prospect of relief seemed remote. Each one 
in their diaries speaks with admiration of him. I think without 
doubt that all the party who were stranded on Elephant Island owe 
their lives to him. The demons of depression could find no foot- 
hold when he was around ; and, not content with merely " telling," 
he was " doing " as much as, and very often more than, the rest. 
He showed wonderful capabilities of leadership and more than 
justified the absolute confidence that I placed in him. Hussey, 
with his cheeriness and his banjo, was another vital factor in chas- 
ing away any tendency to downheartedness. 

Once they were settled in their hut, the health of the party was 
quite good. Of course, they were all a bit weak ; some were light- 
headed, all were frost-bitten, and others, later, had attacks of heart 
failure. Blackborrow, whose toes were so badly frost-bitten in the 
boats, had to have all five amputated while on the Island. With 
insufiicient instruments, and no proper means of sterilizing them, 
the operation, carried out as it was in a dark, grimy hut, with only 
a blubber-stove to keep up the temperature and with an outside 
temperature well below freezing, speaks volumes for the skill and 
initiative of the surgeons. I am glad to be able to say that the 
operation was very successful, and after a little treatment ashore, 
very kindly given by the Chilian doctors at Punta Arenas, he has 
now completely recovered, and walks with only a slight limp. 
Hudson, who developed bronchitis and hip disease, was practically 
well again when the party was rescued. All trace of the severe 
frost-bites suffered in the boat journey had disappeared, though 
traces of recent superficial ones remained on some. All were 
naturally weak when rescued, owing to having been on such scanty 



ELEPHANT ISLAifD 241 

rations for so long, but all were alive and very cheerful, thanks to 
Erank Wild. 

August 30, 1916, is described in their diaries as a " day of 
wonders." Food was very short, only two days' seal- and penguin- 
meat being left, and no prospect of any more arriving. The whole 
party had been collecting limpets and seaweed to eat with the 
stewed seal-bones. Lunch was being served by Wild, Hurley and 
Marston waiting outside to take a last long look at the direction 
from which they expected the ship to arrive. From a fortnight 
after I had left. Wild woidd roll up his sleeping-bag each day with 
the remark, " Get your things ready, boys, the boss may come 
to-day." And sure enough, one day, the mist opened and revealed 
the ship for which they had been waiting and longing and hoping 
for over four months. " Marston was the first to notice it, and 
immediately yelled out ' Ship ! ' The inmates of the hut mis- 
took it for a call of ' Lunch O ! ' so took no notice at first. Soon, 
however, we heard him pattering along the snow as fast as he 
could run, and in a gasping, anxious voice, hoarse with excitement, 
he shouted, ' Wild, there's a ship ! Hadn't we better light a 
flare ? ' We aU made one dive for our narrow door. Those who 
could not get through tore down the canvas walls in their hurry 
and excitement. The 'hoosh-pot with our precious limpets and 
seaweed was kicked over in the rush. There, just rounding the 
island which had previously hidden her from our sight, we saw 
a little ship flying the Chilian flag. 

" We tried to cheer, but excitement had gripped our vocal chords, 
Macklin had made a rush for the flagstaff, previously placed in 
the most conspicuous position on the ice-slope. The running-gear 
would not work, and the flag was frozen into a solid compact mass ; 
so he tied his jersey to the top of the pole for a signal. 

" Wild put a pick through our last remaining tin of petrol, and 
soaking coats, mitts, and socks with it, carried them to the top 
of Penguin Hill at the end of our spit, and soon they were ablaze. 

" Meanwhile most of us had gathered on the foreshore watching 
with anxious eyes for any signs that the ship had seen us, or for 
any answering signals. As we stood and gazed she seemed to 



242 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

turn away as if she had not seen us. Again and again we cheered, 
though our feeble cries could certainly not have carried so far. 
Suddenly she stopped, a boat was lowered, and we could recognize 
Sir Ernest's figure as he climbed down the ladder. Simul- 
taneously we burst into a cheer, and then one said to the other, 
' Thank God, the boss is safe.' For I think that his safety was of 
more concern to us than was our own. 

" Soon the boat approached near enough for the boss, who was 
standing up in the bows, to shout to Wild, ' Are you all well ? ' To 
which he replied, ' All safe, all well,' and we could see a smile light 
up the boss's face, as he said, ' Thank God ! ' 

" Before he could land he threw ashore handsful of cigarettes 
and tobacco ; and these the smokers, who for two months had been 
trying to find solace in such substitutes as seaweed, finely chopped 
pipe-bowls, seal-meat, and sennegras, grasped greedily. 

" Blackborrow, who could not walk, had been carried to a high 
rock and propped up in his sleeping-bag, so that he could view the 
wonderful scene. 

" Soon we were tumbling into the boat, and the Chilian sailors, 
laughing up at us, seemed as pleased at our rescue as we were. 
Twice more the boat returned, and within an hour of our first hav- 
ing sighted the boat, we were heading northwards to the outer 
world from which we had had no news since October, 1914, over 
twenty-two months before. We are like men awakened from a 
long sleep. We are trying to acquire suddenly the perspective 
which the rest of the world has acquired gradually through two 
years of war. There are many events which have happened of 
which we shall never know. 

" Our first meal, owing to our weakness and the atrophied state 
of our stomachs, proved disastrous to a good many. They soon 
recovered, though. Our beds were just shake-downs on cushions 
and settees, though the officer on watch very generously gave up 
his bunk to two of us. I think we got very little sleep that night. 
It was just heavenly to lie and listen to the throb of the engines, 
instead of to the crack of the breaking floe, the beat of the surf on 
the ice-strewn shore, or the howling of the blizzard. 




w a- 






ELEPHANT ISLAND 243 

" We intend to keep August 30 as a festival for the rest of our 
lives." You readers can imagine my feelings as I stood in the 
little cabin watching my rescued comrades feeding. 



CHAPTEK XIII 

THE EOSS SEA PAUTT 

I NOW turn to the fortunes and misfortunes of the Eoss Sea party 
and the Aurora. In spite of extraordinary difficulties occasioned 
by the breaking out of the Aurora from her winter quarters before 
sufficient stores and equipment had been landed, Captain ^neas 
Mackintosh and the party under his command achieved the object 
of this side of the Expedition. For the depot that was the main 
object of the Expedition was laid in the spot that I had indicated, 
and if the transcontinental party had been fortunate enough to 
have crossed they would have found the assistance, in the shape of 
stores, that would have been vital to the success of their under- 
taking. Owing to the dearth of stores, clothing, and sledging equip- 
ment, the depot party was forced to travel more slowly and with 
greater difficulty than would have otherwise been the case. The 
result was that in making this journey the greatest qualities of en- 
durance, self-sacrifice, and patience were called for, and the call 
was not in vain, as you reading the following pages will realize. 
It is more than regrettable that after having gone through those 
many months of hardship and toil Mackintosh and Hayward 
should have been lost. Spencer-Smith during those long days, 
dragged by his comrades on the sledge, suffering but never com- 
plaining, became an example to all men. Mackintosh and Hay- 
ward owed their lives on that journey to the unremitting care and 
strenuous endeavours of Joyce, Wild, and Eichards, who, also 
scurvy-stricken but fitter than their comrades, dragged them 
through the deep snow and blizzards on the sledges. I think that 
no more remarkable story of human endeavour has been revealed 
than the tale of that long march which I have collated from various 
diaries. Unfortunately, the diary of the leader of this side of the 

244 



THE EOSS SEA PAKTY 245 

Expedition was lost with him. The outstanding feature of the 
Eoss Sea side was the journey made by these six men. The earlier 
journeys for the first year did not produce any sign of the qualities 
of leadership amongst the others. Mackintosh was fortunate for 
the long journey in that he had these three men with him — 
Ernest Wild, Richards, and Joyce. 

Before proceeding with the adventures of this party I want to 
make clear in these pages how much I appreciate the assistance I 
received both in Australia and New Zealand, especially in the latter 
dominion. And amongst the many friends there it is not invidious 
on my part to lay special stress on the name of Leonard Tripp, who 
has been my mentor, counsellor, and friend for many years, and 
who, when the Expedition was in precarious and difiicult cir- 
cumstances, devoted his energy, thought, and gave his whole time 
and advice to the best interests of our cause. I also must thank 
Edward Saunders, who for the second time has greatly helped me 
in preparing an Expedition record for publication. 

To the Dominion Government I tender my warmest thanks. To 
the people of JSTew Zealand, and especially to those many friends — 
too numerous to mention here — who helped us when our fortunes 
were at a low ebb, I wish to say that their kindness is an ever-green 
memory to me. If ever a man had cause to be grateful for assist- 
ance in dark days, I am he. 

The Aurora, under the command of Captain ^neas Mackin- 
tosh, sailed from Hobart for the Eoss Sea on December 24, 1914. 
The ship had refitted in Sydney, where the State and Federal 
Governments had given generous assistance, and would be able, 
if necessary, to spend two years in the Antarctic. My instruc- 
tions to Captain Mackintosh, in brief, were to proceed to the Eoss 
Sea, make a base at some convenient point in or near McMurdo 
Sound, land stores and equipment, and lay depots on the Great Ice 
Barrier in the direction of the Beardmore Glacier for the use of 
the party that I expected to bring overland from the Weddell Sea 
coast. This programme would involve some heavy sledging, but 
the ground to be covered was familiar, and I had not anticipated 
that the work would present any great difficulties. The Aurora 



246 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

carried materials for a hut, full equipment for landing and sledging 
parties, stores and clothing of all the kinds required, and an ample 
supply of sledges. There were also dog teams and one of the 
motor-tractors. I had told Captain Mackintosh that it was possible 
the transcontinental journey would be attempted in the 1914-15 
season in the event of the landing on the Weddell Sea coast proving 
unexpectedly easy, and it would be his duty, therefore, to lay 
out depots to the south immediately after his arrival at his base. 
I had directed him to place a depot of food and fuel-oil at lat. 80° 
S. in 1914-15, with cairns and flags as guides to a sledging party 
approaching from the direction of the Pole. He would place 
depots further south in the 1915-16 season. 

The Aurora had an uneventful voyage southwards. She 
anchored off the sealing-huts at Macquarie Island on Christmas 
Day, December 25. The wireless station erected by Sir Douglas 
Mawson's Australian Antarctic Expedition could be seen on a 
hill to the north-west with the Expedition's hut at the base of the 
hill. This hut was still occupied by a meteorological staff, and 
later in the day the meteorologist, Mr. Tulloch, came off to the ship 
and had dinner aboard. The Aurora had some stores for the 
Macquarie Island party, and these were sent ashore during suc- 
ceeding days in the boats. The landing-place was a rough, kelp- 
guarded beach, where lay the remains of the New Zealand barque 
Clyde. Macquarie Island anchorages are treacherous, and several 
ships engaged in the sealing and whaling trade have left their 
bones on the rocky shores, where bask great herds of seals and sea- 
elephants. The Aurora sailed from the island on December 31, 
and three days later they sighted the first iceberg, a tabular berg 
rising 250 ft. above the sea. This was in lat. 62° 40' S., long. 
169° 58' E. The next day, in lat. 64° 27' 38" S., the Aurora 
passed through the first belt of pack-ice. At 9 a.m. on January 7 
Mount Sabine, a mighty peak of the Admiralty Range, South 
Victoria Land, was sighted seventy-five miles distant. 

It had been proposed that a party of three men should travel 
to Cape Crozier from winter quarters during the winter months in 
order to secure emperor penguins' eggs. The ship was to call at 



THE EOSS SEA PARTY 247 

Cape Crozier, land provisions, and erect a small hut of fibre-con- 
crete sheets for the use of this party. The ship was off the Cape 
on the afternoon of January 9, and a boat put off with Stenhouse, 
Cope, Joyce, Ninnis, Mauger, and Aitken to search for a landing- 
place. " We steered in towards the Barrier," wrote Stenhouse, 
" and found an opening leading into a large bight which jutted 
back to eastward into the Barrier. We endeavoured without suc- 
cess to scale the steep ice-foot under the cliffs, and then proceeded 
up the bay. Pulling along the edge of perpendicular ice, we 
turned into a bay in the ice-cliff and came to a cul-de-sac, at the 
head 'Of which was a grotto. At the head of the grotto and on a 
ledge of snow were perched some adelie penguins. The beautiful 
green and blue tints in the ice-colouring made a picture as unreal 
as a stage-setting. Coming back along the edge of the bight 
towards the land, we caught and killed one penguin, much to the 
surprise of another, which ducked into a niche in the ice and, after 
much squawking, was extracted with a boat-hook and captured. 
We returned to our original landing, and were fortunate in our 
time, for no sooner had we cleared the ledge where Ninnis had 
been hanging in his endeavour to catch the penguin than the Bar- 
rier calved and a piece weighing hundreds of tons toppled over into 
the sea. 

" Since we left the ship a mist had blown up from the south, 
and when we arrived back at the entrance to the bay the ship 
could be but dimly seen. We found a slope on the ice-foot, and 
Joyce and I managed, by cutting steps, to climb up to a ledge of 
debris between the cliffs and the ice, which we thought might lead 
to the vicinity of the emperor penguin rookery. I sent the boat 
back to the ship to tell the captain of our failure to find a spot 
where we could depot the hut and stores and then, with Joyce, 
set out to walk along the narrow land between the cliffs and the 
ice to the southward in hopes of finding the rookery. We walked 
for about a mile along the foot of the cliffs, over undulating paths, 
sometimes crawling carefully down a gully and then over rocks 
and debris which had fallen from the steep cliffs which towered 
above us, but we saw no signs of a rookery or any place where a 



248 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

rookery could be. Close to the cliffs and separated from them 
by the path on which we travelled, the Barrier in its movement 
towards the sea had broken and showed signs of pressure. Seeing 
a turn in the cliffs ahead, which we thought might lead to better 
prospects, we trudged on, and were rewarded by a sight which 
Joyce admitted as being the grandest he had ever witnessed. The 
Barrier had come into contact with the cliffs and, from where we 
viewed it, it looked as if icebergs had fallen into a tremendous 
cavern and lay jumbled together in wild disorder. Looking down 
into that wonderful picture one realized a little the ' eternalness ' 
of things. 

" We had not long to wait, and much as we wished to go ahead, 
had to turn back. I went into a small crevasse; no damage. 
Arriving back at the place where we left the boat we found it had 
not returned, so sat down under an overhang and smoked and 
enjoyed the sense of loneliness. Soon the boat appeared out of 
the mist, and the crew had much news for us. . After we left the 
ship the captain manoeuvred her in order to get close to the Barrier, 
but, unfortunately, the engines were loth to be reversed when re- 
quired to go astern and the ship hit the Barrier end on. The 
Barrier here is about twenty feet high, and her jibboom took the 
weight and snapped at the cap. When I returned Thompson was 
busy getting the broken boom and gear aboard. Luckily, the cap 
was not broken and no damage was done aloft, but it was rather 
a bad introduction to the Antarctic. There is no place to land the 
Cape Crozier hut and stores, so we must build a hut in the winter 
here, which will mean so much extra sledging from winter quarters. 
Bad start, good finish ! Joyce and I went aloft to the crow's-nest, 
but could see no opening in the Barrier to eastward where a ship 
might enter and get further, south." 

Mackintosh proceeded into McMurdo Sound. Heavy pack de- 
layed the ship for three days, and it was not until January 16 that 
she reached a point off Cape Evans, where he landed ten tons of 
coal and ninety-eight cases of oil. During succeeding days 
Captain Mackintosh worked the Aurora southward, and by 
January 24 he was within nine miles of Hut Point. There he 



THE EOSS SEA PAETY 249 

made the ship fast to sea-ice, then breaking up rapidly, and pro- 
ceeded to arrange sledging parties. It was his intention to 
direct the laying of the depots himself and to leave his first officer, 
Lieut. J. E. Stenhouse, in command of the Aurora, with instruc- 
tions to select a base and land a party. 

The first objective was Hut Point, where stands the hut erected 
by the Discovery Expedition in 1902. An advance party, con- 
sisting of Joyce (in charge), Jack and Gaze, with dogs and fully 
loaded sledges, left the ship on January 24; Mackintosh, with 
Wild and Smith, followed the next day ; and a supporting party, 
consisting of Cope (in charge), Stevens, Ninnis, Haywood, Hooke, 
and Eichards, left the ship on January 30. The first two parties 
had dog teams. The third party took with it the motor-tractor, _ 
which does not appear to have given the good service that I had 
hoped to get from it. These parties had a strenuous time during 
the weeks that followed. The men, fresh from shipboard, were 
not in the best of training, and the same was true of the dogs. It 
was unfortunate that the dogs had to be worked so early after their 
arrival in the Antarctic. They were in poor condition and they 
had not learned to work together as teams. The result was the 
loss of many of the dogs, and this proved a serious matter in the 
following season. Captain Mackintosh's record of the sledging in 
the early months of 1915 is fairly full. It will not be necessary 
here to follow the fortunes of the various parties in detail, for 
although the men were facing difficulties and dangers, they were on 
well-travelled ground, which has been made familiar to most 
readers by the histories of earlier Expeditions. 

Captain Mackintosh and his party left the Aurora on the evening 
of January 25. They had nine dogs and one heavily loaded sledge, 
and started off briskly to the accompaniment of a cheer from their 
shipmates. The dogs were so eager for exercise after their pro- 
longed confinement aboard the ship that they dashed forward at 
their best speed, and it was necessary for one man to sit upon the 
sledge in order to moderate the pace. Mackintosh had hoped to 
get to Hut Point that night, but luck was against him. The 
weather broke after he had travelled about five miles, and snow, 



250 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

which completely obscured all landmarks, sent him into camp on 
the sea-ice. The weather was still thick on the following morning, 
and the party, making a start after breakfast, missed its way. 
" We shaped a course where I imagined Hut Point to be," wrote 
Captain Mackintosh in his diary, " but when the sledge-meter 
showed thirteen miles fifty yards, which is four miles in excess 
of the distance from the ship to Hut Point, I decided to halt again. 
The surface was changing considerably and the land was still 
obscured. We have been travelling over a thick snow surface, 
in which we sink deeply, and the dogs are not too cheerful about 
it." They started again at noon on January 27, when the weather 
had cleared sufficiently to reveal the land, and reached Hut Point 
at 4 p.m. The sledge-meter showed that the total distance 
travelled had been over seventeen miles. Mackintosh found in 
the hut a note from Joyce, who had been there on the 25th, and 
who reported that one of his dogs had been killed in a fight with its 
companions. The hut contained some stores left there by earlier 
Expeditions. The party stayed there for the night. Mackintosh 
left a note for Stenhouse directing him to place provisions in the 
hut in case the sledging parties did not return in time to be taken 
off by the ship. Early next morning Joyce reached the hut. He 
had encountered bad ice and had come back to consult with 
Mackintosh regarding the route to be followed. Mackintosh di- 
rected him to steer out towards Black Island in crossing the head 
of the Sound beyond Hut Point. 

Mackintosh left Hut Point on January 28. He had taken 
some additional stores, and he mentions that the sledge now 
weighed 1200 lbs. This was a heavy load, but the dogs were pull- 
ing well and he thought it practicable. He encountered difficulty 
almost at once after descending the slope from the point to the 
sea-ice, for the sledge stuck in soft snow and the party had to 
lighten the load and relay until they reached a better surface. 
They were having trouble with the dogs, which did not pull cheer- 
fully, and the total distance covered in the day was under four 
miles. The weather was warm and the snow consequently was 
soft. Mackintosh had decided that it would be best to travel at 



THE BOSS SEA PAETY 251 

night. A fall of snow held up the party throughout the following 
day, and they did not get away from their camp until shortly 
before midnight. "The surface was abominably soft," wrote 
Mackintosh. " We harnessed ourselves on to the sledge and with 
the dogs made a start, but we had a struggle to get off. We had not 
gone very far when in deeper snow we stopped dead. Try as we 
would, no movement could be produced. Eeluctantly we unloaded 
and began the tedious task of relaying. The work, in spite of the 
lighter load on the sledge, proved terrific for ourselves and for the 
dogs. We struggled for four hours, and then set camp to await 
the evening, when the sun would not be so fierce and the surface 
might be better. I must say I feel somewhat despondent, as we 
are not getting on as well as I expected, nor do we find it as easy 
as one would gather from reading." 

The two parties met again that day. Joyce also had been com- 
pelled to relay his load, and all hands laboured strenuously and 
advanced slowly. They reached the edge of the Barrier on the 
night of January 30 and climbed an easy slope to the Barrier sur- 
face, about thirty feet above the sea-ice. The dogs were showing 
signs of fatigue, and when Mackintosh camped at 6.30 a.m. on 
January 31, he reckoned that the distance covered in twelve and 
a half hours had been about two and a half miles. The men had 
killed a seal at the edge of the sea-ice and placed the meat on a 
cairn for future use. One dog, having refused to pull, had been 
left behind with a good feed of meat, and Mackintosh hoped the 
animal would follow. The experiences of the party during the 
days that followed can be indicated by some extracts from 
Mackintosh's diary. 

Sunday^ January 31. — Started off this afternoon at 3 p.m. 
Surface too dreadful for words. We sink into snow at times up 
to our knees, the dogs struggling out of it panting and making 
great efforts. I think the soft snow must be accounted for by a 
phenomenally fine summer without much wind. After proceeding 
about 1000 yds. I spotted some poles on our starboard side. We 
shaped course for these and found Captain Scott's Safety Camp. 
We unloaded a relay here and went back with empty sledge for the 



252 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

second relay. It took us four hours to do just this short distance. 
It is exasperating. After we had got the second load up we had 
lunch. Then we dug round the poles, while snow fell, and after 
getting down about three feet we came across, first, a bag of oats, 
lower down two cases of dog-biscuit — one with a complete week's 
ration, the other with seal-meat. A good find. About forty paces 
away we found a venesta-lid sticking out of the snow. Smith 
scraped round this with his ice-axe and presently discovered one 
of the motor-sledges Captain Scott used. Everything was just as 
it had been left, the petrol-tank partly filled and apparently unde- 
teriorated. We marked the spot with a pole. The snow clearing, 
we proceeded with a relay. We got only half a mile, still 
struggling in deep snow, and then went back for the second load. 
We can still see the cairn erected at the Barrier edge and a black 
spot which we take to be the dog. 

February 1. — We turned out at Y.30 p.m., and after a meal 
broke camp. We made a relay of two and a half miles. The 
sledge-meter stopped during this relay. Perhaps that is the cause 
of our mileage not showing. We covered seven and a half miles 
in order to bring the load two and a half miles. After lunch we 
decided, as the surface was getting better, to make a shot at 
travelling with the whole load. It was a back-breaking job. 
Wild led the team, while Smith and I pulled in harness. The 
great trouble is to get the sledge started after the many unavoid- 
able stops. We managed to cover one mile. This even is better 
than relaying. We then camped — the dogs being entirely done 
up, poor brutes. 

February 2. — We were awakened this afternoon, while in our 
bags, by hearing Joyce's dogs barking. They have done well and 
have caught us up. Joyce's voice was heard presently, asking 
us the time. He is managing the full load. We issued a 
challenge to race him to the Bluff, which he accepted. When we 
turned out at 6.30 p.m. his camp was seen about three miles ahead. 
About 8 p.m., after our hoosh, we made a start, and reached Joyce's 
camp at 1 a.m. The dogs had been pulling well, seeing the camp 
ahead, but when we arrived off it they were not inclined to go on. 



THE ROSS SEA PAETY 253 

After a little persuasion and struggle we got off, but not for long. 
This starting business is terrible work. We have to shake the 
sledge and its big load while we shout to the dogs to start. If 
they do not pull together it is useless. When we get the sledge 
going we are on tenterhooks lest it stop again on the next soft 
slope, and this often occurs. Sledging is real hard work ; but we 
are getting along. 

The surface was better on February 2, and the party covered six 
miles without relaying. They camped in soft snow, and when 
they started the next day they were two hours relaying over one 
hundred and fifty yards. Then they got into Joyce's track and 
found the going better. Mackintosh overtook Joyce on the morn- 
ing of February 4 and went ahead, his party breaking trail during 
the next march. They covered ten miles on the night of the 4th. 
One dog had " chucked his hand in " on the march, and 
Mackintosh mentions that he intended to increase the dogs' al- 
lowance of food. The surface was harder, and during the night 
of February 5 Mackintosh covered eleven miles twenty-five yards, 
but he finished with two dogs on the sledge. Joyce was travelling 
by day, so that the parties passed one another daily on the march. 

A blizzard came from the south on February 10 and the parties 
were confined to their tents for over twenty-four hours. The 
weather moderated on the morning of the next day, and at 11 a.m. 
Mackintosh camped beside Joyce and proceeded to re-arrange the 
parties. One of his dogs had died on the 9th and several others 
had ceased to be worth much for pulling. He had decided to take 
the best dogs from the two teams and continue the march with 
Joyce and Wild, while Smith, Jack, and Gaze went back to Hut 
Point with the remaining dogs. This involved the adjustment of 
sledge-loads in order that the proper supplies might be available 
for the depots. He had eight dogs and Smith had five. A depot 
of oil and fuel was laid at this point and marked by a cairn with 
a bamboo pole rising ten feet above it. The change made for bet- 
ter progress. Smith turned back at once, and the other party 
went ahead fairly rapidly, the dogs being able to haul the sledge 
without much assistance from the men. The party built a cairn 



254 CROSSING THE SOtJTH POLE 

of snow after each hour's travelling to serve as guides to the depot 
and as marks for the return journey. Another blizzard held the 
men up on Februiary 13, and they had an uncomfortable time in 
their sleeping-bags owing to low temperature. 

During succeeding days the party plodded forward. They were 
able to cover from five to twelve miles a day, according to the sur- 
face and weather. They built the cairns regularly and checked 
their route by taking bearings of the mountains to the west. 
They were able to cover from five to twelve miles a day, the dogs 
pulling fairly well. They reached lat. 80° S. on the afternoon 
of February 20. Mackintosh had hoped to find a depot laid in 
that neighbourhood by Captain Scott, but no trace of it was seen. 
The surface had been very rough during the afternoon, and for 
that reason the depot to be laid there was named Rocky Mountain 
Depot. The stores were to be placed on a substantial cairn, and 
smaller cairns were to be built at right angles to the depot as a 
guide to the overland party. " As soon as breakfast was over," 
wrote Mackintosh the next day, " Joyce and Wild went off with a 
light sledge and the dogs to lay out the cairns and place flags to the 
eastward, building them at every mile. The outer cairn had a 
large flag and a note indicating the position of the depot. I 
remained behind to get angles and fix our position with the theod- 
olite. The temperature was very low this morning, and han- 
dling the theodolite was not too warm a job for the fingers. My 
whiskers froze to the metal while I was taking a sight. After 
five hours the others arrived back. They had covered ten miles, 
five miles out and five miles back. During the afternoon we fin- 
ished the cairn, which we have built to a height of eight feet. It 
is a solid square erection which ought to stand a good deal of 
weathering, and on top we have placed a bamboo pole with a flag, 
making the total height twenty-five feet. Building the cairn was 
a fine warming job, but the ice on our whiskers often took some ten 
minutes thawing out. To-morrow we hope to lay out the cairns 
to the westward, and then to shape our course for the Bluff." 

The weather became bad again during the night. A blizzard 
kept the men in their sleeping-bags on February 21, and it was 



THE EOSS SEA PAKTY 255 

not until the afternoon of the 23 rd that Mackintosh and Joyce 
made an attempt to lay out the cairns to the west. They found 
that two of the dogs had died during the storm, leaving seven 
dogs to haul the sledge. They marched a mile and a half to the 
westward and built a cairn, but the weather was very thick and 
they did not think it wise to proceed further. They could not 
see more than a hundred yards and the tent was soon out of sight. 
They returned to the camp, and stayed there until the morning 
of Eebruary 24, when they started the return march with snow 
still falling. " We did get off from our camp," says Mackin- 
tosh, " but had only proceeded about four hundred yards when 
the fog came on so thick that we could scarcely see a yard ahead, 
so we had to pitch the tent again, and are now sitting inside hop- 
ing the weather will clear. We are going back with only ten 
days' provisions, so it means pushing on for all we are worth. 
These stoppages are truly annoying. The poor dogs are feeling 
hungry; they eat their harness or any straps that may be about. 
We can give them nothing beyond their allowance of three bis- 
cuits each as we are on bare rations ourselves ; but I feel sure they 
require more than one pound a day. That is what they are get- 
ting now. . . . After lunch we found it a little clearer, but a very 
bad light. We decided to push on. It is weird travelling in this 
light. There is no contrast or outline; the sky and the surface 
are one, and we cannot discern undulations, which we encounter 
with disastrous results. We picked up the first of our outward 
cairns. This was most fortunate. After passing a second cairn 
everything became blotted out, and so we were forced to camp, 
after covering 4 miles 703 yds. The dogs are feeling the pangs of 
hunger and devouring everything they see. They will eat any- 
thing except rope. If we had not wasted those three days we 
might have been able to give them a good feed at the Bluff depot, 
but now that is impossible. It is snowing hard." 

The experiences of the next few days were unhappy. Another 
blizzard brought heavy snow and held the party up throughout 
the 25th and 26th. " Outside is a scene of chaos. The snow, 
whirling along with the wind, obliterates everything. The dogs 



256 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

are completely buried, and only a mound with a ski sticking up 
indicates where the sledge is. We long to be off, but the howl 
of the wind shows how impossible it is. The sleeping-bags are 
damp and sticky, so are our clothes. Fortunately, the tempera- 
ture is fairly high and they do not freeze. One of the dogs gave 
a bark and Joyce went out to investigate. He found that Major, 
feeling hungry, had dragged his way to Joyce's ski and eaten off 
the leather binding. Another dog has eaten all his harness, can- 
vas, rope, leather, brass, and rivets. I am afraid the dogs will 
not pull through; they all look thin and these blizzards do not 
improve matters. . . . We have a week's provisions and one hun- 
dred and sixty miles to travel. It appears that we will have to 
get another week's provisions from the depot, but don't wish it. 
Will see what luck to-morrow. Of course, at Bluff we can re- 
plenish." 

" We are now reduced to one meal in the twenty-four hours," 
wrote Mackintosh a day later. " This going without food keeps 
us colder. It is a rotten, miserable time. It is bad enough having 
this wait, but we have also the wretched thought of having to use 
the provisions already depot-ed, for which we have had all this 
hard struggle." The weather cleared on the 27th, and in the 
afternoon Mackintosh and Joyce went back to the depot, while 
Wild remained behind to build a cairn and attempt to dry the 
sleeping-bags in the sun. The stores left at the depot had been 
-two and a quarter tins of biscuit (42 lbs. to the tin), rations for 
three men for three weeks in bags, each intended to last one week, 
and three tins of oil. Mackintosh took one of the weekly bags 
from the depot and returned to the camp. The party resumed 
the homeward journey the next morning, and with a sail on the 
sledge to take advantage of the southerly breeze, covered nine 
miles and a half during the day. But the dogs had reached al- 
most the limit of their endurance; three of them fell out, unable 
to work longer, while on the march. That evening, for the first 
time since leaving the Aurora, the men saw the sun dip to the 
horizon in the south, a reminder that the Antarctic summer was 
Hearing its close. 




THE AURORA 
With Stenliouse's jury rudder 



THE EOSS SEA PAETY 25V 

The remaining four dogs collapsed on March 2. " After lunch 
we went off fairly well for half an hour. Then Nigger conunenced 
to wobble about, his legs eventually giving under him. We took 
him out of his harness and let him travel along with us, but he has 
given us all he can, and now can only lie down. After Nigger, 
my friend Pompey collapsed. The drift, I think, accounts a good 
deal for this. Pompey has been splendid of late, pulling steadily 
and well. Then Scotty, the last dog but one, gave up. They are 
all lying down in our tracks. They have a painless death, for they 
curl up in the snow and fall into a sleep from which they will 
never wake. We are left with one dog, Pinkey. He has not been 
one of the pullers, but he is not despised. We can afford to give 
him plenty of biscuit. We must nurse him and see if we cannot 
return with one dog at least. We are now pulling ourselves, with 
the sail (the floor-cloth of the tent) set and Pinkey giving a hand. 
At one stage a terrific gust came along and capsized the sledge. 
The sail was blown off the sledge, out of its guys, and we prepared 
to camp, but the wind fell again to a moderate breeze^ so we re- 
paired the sledge and proceeded. 

" It is blowing hard this evening, cold too. Another wonderful 
sunset. Golden colours illuminate the sky. The moon casts beau- 
tiful rays in combination with the more vivid ones from the dip- 
ping sun. If all was as beautiful as the scene we could consider 
ourselves in some paradise, but it is dark and cold in the tent and 
I shiver in a frozen sleeping-bag. The inside fur is a mass of 
ice, congealed from my breath. One creeps into the bag, toggles 
up with half-frozen fingers, and hears the crackling of the ice. 
Presently drops of thawing ice are falling on one's head. Then 
comes a fit of shivers. You rub yourself and turn over to warm 
the side of the bag which has been uppermost. A puddle of water 
forms under the body. After about two hours you may doze 
off, but I always wake with the feeling that I have not slept a 
wink." 

The party made only three and a half miles on March 3. They 
were finding the sledge exceedingly heavy to pull, and Mackintosh 
decided to remove the outer runners and scrape the bottom. These 



258 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

runners should have been taken off before the party started, and 
the lower runners polished smooth. He also left behind all spare 
gear, including dog-harness, in order to reduce weight, and found 
the lighter sledge easier to pull. The temperature that night was 
— 28° Fahr., the lowest recorded during the journey up to that 
time. " We are struggling along at a mile an hour," wrote Mack- 
intosh on the 5th. " It is a very hard pull, the surface being very- 
sticky. Pinkey still accompanies us. We hope we can get him 
in. He is getting all he wants to eat. So he ought." The con- 
ditions of travel changed the next day. A southerly wind made 
possible the use of the sail, and the trouble was to prevent the 
sledge bounding ahead over rough sastrugi and capsizing. The 
handling of ropes and the sail caused many frost-bites, and oc- 
casionally the men were dragged along the surface by the sledge. 
The remaining dog collapsed during the afternoon and had to be 
left behind. Mackintosh did not feel that he could afford to re- 
duce the pace. The sledge-meter had got out of order, so the 
distance covered in the day was not recorded. The wind increased 
during the night, and by the morning of the Yth was blowing with 
blizzard force. The party did not move again until the morning 
of the 8th. They were still finding the sledge very heavy and 
were disappointed at their slow progress, their marches being six 
to eight miles a day. On the 10th they got the Bluff Peak in line 
with Mount Discovery. My instructions had been that the Bluff 
Depot should be laid on this line, and as the depot had been 
placed north of the line on the outward journey, owing to thick 
weather making it impossible to pick up the landmarks. Mackin- 
tosh intended now to move the stores to the proper place.* He 
sighted the depot flag about four miles away, and after pitching 
camp at the new depot site, he went across with Joyce and Wild 
and found the stores as he had left them. i ,^ 

" We loaded the sledge with the stores, placed the wge mark 
flag on the sledge, and proceeded back to our tent, which was 
now out of sight. Indeed it was not wise to come out as we did 
without tent or bag. We had taken the chance, as the weather 
had promised fine. As we proceeded it grew darker and darker. 



THE EOSS SEA PAETY 259 

and eventually we were travelling by only the light of stars, the 
sun having dipped. After four and a half hours we sighted the 
little green tent. It was hard pulling the last two hours and very 
weird travelling in the dark. We have put in a good day, having 
had fourteen hours' solid marching. We are now sitting in here 
enjoying a very excellent thick hoosh. A light has been impro- 
vised out of an old tin witb methylated spirit." 

The party spent the next day in their sleeping-bags, while a 
blizzard raged outside. The weather was fine again on March 12, 
and they built a cairn for the depot. The stores placed on this 
cairn comprised a six weeks' supply of biscuit and three weeks' 
full ration for three men and three tins of oil. Early in the after- 
noon the men resumed their march northwards and made three 
miles before camping. " Our bags are getting into a bad state," 
wrote Mackintosh, " as it is some time now since we have had an 
opportunity of drying them. We use our bodies for drying socks 
and such-like clothing, which we place inside our jerseys and 
produce when required. Wild carries a regular wardrobe in this 
position, and it is amusing to see him searching round the back 
of his clothes for a pair of socks. Getting away in the mornings 
is our bitterest time. The putting on of the finneskoe is a night- 
mare, for they are always frozen stifF, and we have a great strug- 
gle to force our feet into them. The ice sennegras round one's 
fingers is another punishment that causes much pain. We are 
miserable until we are actually on the move, then warmth returns 
with the work. Our conversation now is principally conjecture as 
to what can have happened to the other parties. We have various 
ideas." 

Saturday, March 13, was another day spent in the sleeping-bags. 
A blizzard was raging and everything was obscured. The men 
saved food by taking only one meal during the day, and they felt 
the effect of the short rations in lowered vitality. Both Joyce 
and Wild had toes frost-bitten while in their bags and found diffi- 
culty in getting the circulation restored. Wild suffered par- 
ticularly in this way and his feet were very sore. The weather 
cleared a little the next morning, but the drift began again before 



260 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

the party could break camp, and another day had to be spent in 
the frozen bags. 

The march was resumed on March 15. " About 11 p.m. last 
night the temperature commenced to get lower and the gale also 
diminished. The lower temperature caused the bags, which were 
moist, to freeze hard. We had no sleep and spent the night twist- 
ing and turning. The morning brought sunshine and pleasure, for 
the hot hoosh warmed our bodies and gave a glow that was most 
comforting. The sun was out, the weather fine and clear but 
cold. At 8.30 a.m. we made a start. We take a long time putting 
on our finneskoe, although we get up earlier to allow for this. 
This morning we were over four hours getting away. We had a 
fine surface this morning for marching, but we did not make much 
headway. We did the usual four miles before lunch. The tem- 
perature was — 23° Fahr. A mirage made the sastrugi appear to 
be dancing like some ice-goblins. Joyce calls them ' dancing jim- 
mies.' After lunch we travelled well, but the distance for the 
day was only 7 miles 400 yds. We are blaming our sledge-meter 
for the slow rate of progress. It is extraordinary that on the days 
when we consider we are making good speed we do no more than 
on days when we have a tussle. 

"March 15. — The air temperature this morning was — 35° 
Fahr. Last night was one of the worst I have ever experienced. 
To cap everything, I developed toothache, presumably as a result 
of frost-bitten cheek. I was in positive agony. I groaned and 
moaned, got the medicine-chest, but could find nothing there to 
stop the pain. Joyce, who had wakened up, suggested methylated 
spirit, so I damped some cotton-wool, then placed it in the tooth, 
with the result that I burnt the inside of my mouth. All this 
time my fingers, being exposed (it must have been at least 50° 
below zero), were continually having to be brought back. After 
putting on the methylated spirit I went back to the bag, which, of 
course, was frozen stiff. I wriggled and moaned till morning 
brought relief by enabling me to, turn out. Joyce and Wild both 
had a bad night, their feet giving them trouble. My feet do not 
affect me so much as theirs. The skin has peeled off the inside 



THE EOSS SEA PAETY 261 

of my moTitli, exposing a raw sore, as the result of the methylated 
spirit. My tooth is better, though. We have had to reduce our 
daily ration. Erost-bites are frequent in consequence. The sur- 
face became very rough in the afternoon, and the light, too, was 
bad owing to cumulus clouds being massed over the sun. We are 
continually falling, for we are unable to distinguish the high and 
low parts of the sastrugi surface. We are travelling on our ski. 
We camped at 6 p.m. after travelling 6 miles 100 yds. I am 
writing this sitting up in the bag. This is the first occasion I 
have been able to do this for some time, for usually the cold has 
penetrated through everything should one have the bag open. 
The temperature is a little higher to-night, but still it is — 21° 
Eahr. (53° of frost). Our matches, among other things, are run- 
ning short, and we have given up using any except for lighting the 
Primus." 

The party found the light bad again the next day. After 
stumbling on ski among the sastrugi for two hours, the men dis- 
carded the ski and made better progress ; but they still had many 
falls, owing to the impossibility of distinguishing slopes and ir- 
regularities in the grey, shadowless surface of the snow. They 
made over nine and a half miles that day, and managed to cover 
ten miles on the following day, March 18, one of the best marches 
of the journey. " I look forward to seeing the ship. All of us 
bear marks of our tramp. Wild takes first place. His nose is a 
picture for Punch to be jealous of ; his ears, too, are sore, and one 
big toe is a black sore. Joyce has a good nose and many minor 
sores. My jaw is swollen from the frost-bite I got on the cheek, 
and I also have a bit of a nose. . . . We have discarded the ski, 
which we hitherto used, and travel in the finneskoe. This makes 
the sledge go better but it is not so comfortable travelling as on ski. 
We encountered a very high, rough sastrugi surface, most remark- 
ably high, and had a cold breeze in our faces during the march. 
Our beards and moustaches are masses of ice. I will take care I 
am clean-shaven next time I come out. The frozen moustache 
makes the lobes of the nose freeze more easily than they would if 
there was no ice alongside them. ... I ask myself why on earth 



262 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

one comes to these parts of the earth. Here we are, frost-bitten in 
the day, frozen at night. What a life ! " The temperature at 1 
p.m. that day was — 23° Fahr., i.e. 55° of frost. 

The men camped abreast of " Corner Camp," where they had 
been on February 1, on the evening of March 19. The next day, 
after being delayed for some hours by bad weather, they turned 
towards Castle Eock and proceeded across the disturbed area where 
the Barrier impinges upon the land. Joyce put his foot through 
the snow-covering of a fairly large crevasse, and the course had to 
be changed to avoid this danger. The march for the day was only 
2 miles 900 yds. Mackintosh felt that the pace was too slow, but 
was unable to quicken it owing to the bad surfaces. The food 
had been cut down to close upon half-rations, and at this reduced 
rate the supply still in hand would be finished in two days. The 
party covered 7 miles 570 yds. on the 21st, and the hoosh that night 
was " no thicker than tea." " The first thought this morning was 
that we must do a good march," wrote Mackintosh on March 22. 
" Once we can get to Safety Camp (at the junction of the Barrier 
with the sea-ice) we are right. Of course, we can as a last re- 
sort abandon the sledge and take a run into Hut Point, about 
twenty-two miles away. . . . We have managed quite a respect- 
able forenoon march. The surface was hard, so we took full ad- 
vantage of it. With our low food the cold is penetrating. We 
had lunch at 1 p.m., and then had left over one meal at full ra- 
tions and a small quantity of biscuits. The temperature at lunch- 
time was — 6° Fahr. Erebus is emitting large volumes of smoke, 
travelling in a south-easterly direction, and a red glare is also dis- 
cernible. After lunch we again accomplished a good march, the 
wind favouring us for two hours. We are anxiously looking out 
for Safety Camp." The distance for the day was 8 miles 1525 
yds. 

" March 23, 1915. — No sooner had we camped last night than 
a blizzard with drift came on and has continued ever since. This 
morning finds us prisoners. The drift is lashing into the sides of 
the tent and everything outside is obscured. This weather is 
rather alarming, for if it continues we are in a bad way. We 



THE BOSS SEA PARTY 263 

have just made a meal of cocoa mixed with hiscuit-crumbs. This 
has warmed us up a little, but on empty stomachs the cold is pene- 
trating." 

The weather cleared in the afternoon, but too late for the men 
to move that day. They made a start at 7 a.m. on the 24th after 
a meal of cocoa and biscuit-crumbs. " We have some biscuit- 
crumbs in the bag and that is all. Our start was made under 
most bitter circumstances, all of iis being attacked by frost-bites. 
It was an effort to bare hands for an instant. After much rub- 
bing and ' bringing back ' of extremities we started. Wild is a 
mass of bites, and we are all in a bad way. We plugged on but 
warmth would not come into our bodies. We had been pulling 
about two hours when Joyce's smart eyes picked up a flag. We 
shoved on for all we were worth, and as we got closer, sure enough, 
the cases of provisions loomed up. Then what feeds we promised 
to give ourselves. It was not long before we were putting our 
gastronomic capabilities to the test. Pemmican was brought down 
from the depot, with oatmeal to thicken it, as well as sugar. 
While Wild was getting the Primus lighted he called out to us that 
he believed his ear had gone. This was the last piece of his face 
left whole — nose, cheeks, and neck all having bites. I went into 
the tent and had a look. The ear was a pale green. I quickly 
put the palm of my hand to it and brought it round. Then his 
fingers went, and to stop this and bring back the circulation he put 
them over the lighted Primus, a terrible thing to do. As a re- 
sult he was in agony. His ear was brought round all right, and 
soon the hot hoosh sent warmth tingling through us. We felt like 
new beings. We simply ate till we were full, mug after mug. 
After we had been well satisfied, we replaced the cases we had 
pulled down from the depot and proceeded towards the Gap. 
Just before leaving Joyce discovered a note left by Spencer-Smith 
and Richards. This told us that both the other parties had re- 
turned to the Hut and apparently all was well. So that is good. 
When we got to the Barrier edge we found the ice-cliff on to the 
newly formed sea-ice not safe enough to bear us, so we had to make 
a detour along the Barrier edge and, if the sea-ice was not nego- 



264 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

tiable, find a way up by Castle Eock. At Y p.m., not having found 
any suitable place to descend to the sea-ice, we camped. To-night 
we have the Primus going and warming our frozen selves. I 
hope to make Hut Point to-morrow." 

Mackintosh and his companions broke camp on the morning of 
March 25, with the thermometer recording 55° of frost, and, 
after another futile search for a way down the ice-cli£E to the sea- 
ice, they proceeded towards Castle Rock. While in this course 
they picked up sledge-tracks, and, following these, they found a 
route down to the sea-ice. Mackintosh decided to depot the sledge 
on top of a well-marked undulation and proceed without gear. A 
short time later the three men, after a scramble over the cliffs of 
Hut Point, reached the door of the hut. " We shouted. No 
sound. Shouted again, and presently a dark object appeared. 
This turned out to be Cope, who was by himself. The other 
members of the party had gone out to fetch the gear off their 
sledge, which they also had left. Cope had been laid up, so did 
not go with them. We soon were telling each other's adventures, 
and we heard then how the ship had called here on March 11 and 
picked up Spencer-Smith, Richards, Ninnis, Hook, and Gaze, the 
present members here being Cope, Hayward, and Jack. A meal 
was soon prepared. We found here even a blubber-fire, luxurious, 
but what a state of dirt and grease ! However, warmth and food 
are at present our principal objects. While we were having our 
meal Jack and Hayward appeared. . . . Late in the evening we 
turned into dry bags. As there are only three bags here, we take 
it in turns to use them. Our party have the privilege. ... I got 
a letter here from Stenhouse giving a summary of his doings since 
we left him. The ship's party also have not had a rosy time." 

Mackintosh learned here that Spencer-Smith, Jack, and Gaze, 
who had turned back on February 10, had reached Hut Point 
without difficulty. The third party, headed by Cope, had also 
been out on the Barrier but had not done much. This party had 
attempted to use the motor-tractor, but had failed to get effective 
service from the machine and had not proceeded far afield. The 
motor was now lying at Hut Point, Spencer-Smith's party and 



THE EOSS SEA PAETT 265 

Cope's party had both returned to Hut Point before the end of 
Eebruary. 

The six men now at Hut Point were cut off from the winter 
quarters of the expedition at Cape Evans by the open water of 
McMurdo Sound. Mackintosh naturally was anxious to make the 
crossing and get in touch with the ship and the other members of 
the shore party; but he could not make a move until the sea-ice 
became firm, and, as events occurred, he did not reach Cape Evans 
until the beginning of June. He went out with Cope and Hay- 
ward on March 29 to get his sledge and brought it as far as Pram 
Point, on the south side of Hut Point. He had to leave the 
sledge there owing to the condition of the sea-ice. He and his 
companions lived an uneventful life under primitive conditions at 
the hut. The weather was bad, and though the temperatures re- 
corded were low, the young sea-ice continually broke away. The 
blubber-stove in use at the hut seemed to have produced soot and 
grease in the usual large quantities, and the men and their cloth- 
ing suffered accordingly. The whites of their eyes contrasted 
vividly with the dense blackness of their skins. Wild and Joyce 
had a great deal of trouble with their frost-bites, Joyce had both 
feet blistered, his knees were swollen, and his hands also were 
blistered. Jack devised some blubber-lamps, which produced an 
uncertain light and much additional smoke. Mackintosh records 
that the members of the party were contented enough but "un- 
speakably dirty," and he writes longingly of baths and clean cloth- 
ing. The store of seal-blubber ran low early in April, and all 
hands kept a sharp look-out for seals. On April 15 several seals 
were seen and killed. The operations of killing and skinning made 
worse the greasy and blackened clothes of the men. It is to be 
regretted that though there was a good deal of literature available, 
especially on this particular district, the leaders of the various 
parties had not taken advantage of it and so supplemented their 
knowledge. Joyce and Mackintosh of course had had previous 
Antarctic experience: but it was open to all to have carefully 
studied the detailed instructions published in the books of the 
three last Expeditions in this quarter. 



OHAPTEE XIV 

WIHTEEHSTQ IIT MCMUEDO SOUND 

The Aurora, after picking up six men at Hut Point on March 11, 
had gone back to Cape Evans. The position chosen for the win- 
ter quarters of the Aurora was at Cape Evans, immediately ofE the 
hut erected by Captain Scott on his last Expedition. The ship on 
March 14 lay about forty yards off shore, bow seaward. Two 
anchors had been taken ashore and embedded in heavy stone rub- 
ble, and to these anchors were attached six steel hawsers. The 
hawsers held the stern, while the bow was secured by the ordinary 
ship's anchors. Later, when the new ice had formed round the 
Aurora, the cable was dragged ashore over the smooth surface and 
made fast. The final moorings thus were six hawsers and one 
cable astern, made fast to the shore anchors, and two anchors with 
about seventy fathoms of cable out forward. On March 23 Mr. 
Stenhouse landed a party consisting of Stevens, Spencer-Smith, 
Gaze, and Richards in order that they might carry out routine 
observations ashore. These four men took up their quarters in 
Captain Scott's hut. They had been instructed to kill seals for 
meal; and blubber. The landing of stores, gear, and coal did not 
proceed at all rapidly, it being assumed that the ship would re- 
main at her moorings throughout the winter. Some tons of coal 
were taken ashore during April, but most of it stayed on the 
beach, and much of it was lost later when the sea-ice went out. 
This shore party was in the charge of Stevens, and his report, 
handed to me much later, gives a succinct account of what oc- 
curred, from the point of view of the men at the hut : 

" Cape Evans, E-oss Island, July 30, 1915. 
" On the 23rd March, 1915, a party consisting of Spencer- 
Smith, Richards, and Gaze was landed at Cape Evans Hut in my 

266 



WINTEEIE"G IN McMUKDO SOUND 26^ 

charge. Spencer-Smith received independent inatructions to de- 
vote his time exclusively to photography. I was verhally in- 
structed that the main duty of the party was to obtain a supply of 
seals for food and fuel. Scientific wort was also to be carried on. 

" Meteorological instruments were at once installed, and experi- 
ments were instituted on copper electrical thermometers in order 
to supplement our meagre supply of instruments and enable ob- 
servations of earth-, ice-, and sea-temperatures to be made. Other 
experimental work was carried on, and the whole of the time of the 
scientific members of the party occupied. All seals seen were se- 
cured. On one or two occasions the members of the shore party 
were summoned to work on board ship. 

" In general the weather was unsettled, blizzards occurring fre- 
quently and interrupting communication with the ship across the 
ice. Only small, indispensable supplies of stores and no clothes 
were issued to the party on shore. Only part of the scientific 
equipment was able to be transferred to the shore, and the neces- 
sity to obtain that prevented some members of the party landing 
all their personal gear. 

" The ship was moored stern on to the shore, at first well over 
one hundred yards from it. There were two anchors out ahead 
and the vessel was made fast to two others sunk in the ground 
ashore by seven wires. The strain on the wires was kept constant 
by tightening up from time to time such as became slack, and 
easing cables forward, and in this way the ship was brought much 
closer inshore. A cable was now run out to the south anchor 
ashore, passed on board through a fair-lead under the port end of 
the bridge, and made fast to bollards forward. Subsequent strain 
due to ice- and wind-pressure on the ship broke three of the wires. 
Though I believe it was considered on board that the ship was se- 
cure, there was still considerable anxiety felt. The anchors had 
held badly before, and the power of the ice-pressure on the ship 
was uncomfortably obvious. 

" Since the ship had been moored the bay had frequently frozen 
over, and the ice had as frequently gone out on account of blizzards. 
The ice does not always go out before the wind has passed its 



268 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

maximum. It depends on the state of tides and currents; for 
the sea-ice has been seen more than once to go out bodily when a 
blizzard had almost completely calmed down. 

" On the 6th May the ice was in and people passed freely be- 
tween the shore and the ship. At 11 p.m. the wind was south, 
backing to south-east, and blew at forty miles per hour. The ship 
was still in her place. At 3 a.m. on the 7th the wind had not in- 
creased to any extent, but ice and ship had gone. As she was not 
seen to go we are unable to say whether the vessel was damaged. 
The shore end of the cable was bent twice sharply, and the wires 
were loose. On the afternoon of the 7th the weather cleared 
somewhat, but nothing was seen of the ship. The blizzard only 
lasted some twelve hours. Next day the wind became northerly, 
but on the 10th there was blowing the fiercest blizzard we have 
so far experienced from the south-east. Nothing has since been 
seen or heard of the ship, though a look-out was kept. 

" Immediately the ship went as accurate an inventory as possible 
of all stores ashore was made, and the rate of consumption of food- 
stuffs so regulated that they would last ten men for not less than 
one hundred weeks. Coal had already been used with the ut- 
most economy. Little could be done to cut down the consumption, 
but the transference to the neighbourhood of the hut of such of the 
coal landed previously by the ship as was not lost was pushed on. 
Meat also was found to be very short ; it was obvious that neither it 
nor coal could be made to last two years, but an evidently neces- 
sary step in the ensuing summer would be the ensuring of an ade- 
quate supply of meat and blubber, for obtaining which the winter 
presented little opportunity. Meat and coal were, therefore, used 
with this consideration in mind, as required but as carefully as 
possible. 

" A. Stevens." 

The men ashore did not at once abandon hope of the ship re- 
turning before the Sound froze firmly. New ice formed on the 
sea whenever the weather was calm, and it had been broken up and 
taken out many times by the blizzards. During the next few days 



WINTEEIISTG IN McMUEDO SOUND 269 

eager eyes looked seaward through the dim twilight of noon, but 
the sea was covered with a dense black mist and nothing was vi»- 
ible. A northerly wind sprang up on May 8 and continued for a 
few hours, but it brought no sign of the ship, and when on May 
10 the most violent blizzard yet experienced by the party com- 
menced, hope grew slender. The gale continued for three days, 
the wind attaining a velocity of seventy miles an hour. The snow- 
drift was very thick and the temperature fell to — 20° Eahr. The 
shore party took a gloomy view of the ship's chances of safety 
among the ice-floes of the Ross Sea under such conditions. 

Stevens and his companions made a careful survey of their posi- 
tion and realized that they had serious difficulties to face. No 
general provisions and no clothing of the kind required for sledg- 
ing had been landed from the ship. Much of the sledging-gear 
was also aboard. Fortunately, the hut contained both food and 
clothing, left there by Captain Scott's Expedition. The men 
killed as many seals as possible and stored the meat and blubber. 
June 2 brought a welcome addition to the party in the form of the 
men who had been forced to remain at Hut Point until the sea- 
ice became firm. Mackintosh and those with him had incurred 
some risk in making the crossing, since open water had been seen 
on their route by the Cape Evans party only a short time before. 
There were now ten men at Cape Evans; namely. Mackintosh, 
Spencer-Smith, Joyce, Wild, Cope, Stevens, Hayward, Gaze, 
Jack, and Richards. The winter had closed down upon the Ant- 
arctic and the party would not be able to make any move before 
the beginning of September. In the meantime they overhauled 
the available stores and gear, made plans for the work of the forth- 
coming spring and summer, and lived the severe but not altogether 
unhappy life of the polar explorer in winter quarters. Mackin- 
tosh, writing on June 5, surveyed his position: 

" The decision of Stenhouse to make this bay the wintering 
place of the ship was not reached without much thought and con- 
sideration of all eventualities. Stenhouse had already tried the 
Glacier Tongue and other places, but at each of them the ship 
had been in an exposed and dangerous position. When this bay 



270 CHOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

was tried the ship withstood several severe blizzards, in which the 
ice remained in on several occasions. When the ice did go out the 
moorings held. The ship was moored bows north. She had both 
anchors down forward and two anchors buried astern, to which the 
stern moorings were attached with seven lengths of wire. Tak- 
ing all this into account, it was quite a fair judgment on his part 
to assume that the ship would be secure here. The blizzard that 
took the ship and the ice out of the bay was by no means as severe 
as others she had weathered. The accident proves again the uncer- 
tainty of conditions in these regions. I only pray and trust that 
the ship and those aboard are safe. I am sure they will have a 
thrilling story to tell when we see them." 

The Aurora could have found safe winter quarters further up 
McMurdo Sound, towards Hut Point, but would have run the 
risk of being frozen in over the following summer, and I had 
given instructions to Mackintosh before he went south that this 
danger must be avoided. 

" Meanwhile we are making all preparations here for a pro- 
longed stay. The shortage of clothing is our principal hardship. 
The members of the party from Hut Point have the clothes we 
wore when we left the ship on January 25. We have been with- 
out a wash all that time, and I cannot imagine a dirtier set of peo- 
ple. We have been attempting to get a wash ever since we came 
back, but owing to the blow during the last two days no oppor- 
tunity has offered. All is working smoothly here, and every one 
is taking the situation very philosophically. Stevens is in charge 
of the scientific staff and is now the senior officer ashore. Joyce 
is in charge of the equipment and has undertaken to improvise 
clothes out of what canvas can be found here. Wild is working 
with Joyce. He is a cheerful, willing soul. Nothing ever wor- 
ries or upsets him, and he is ever singing or making some joke or 
performing some amusing prank. Eichards has taken over the 
keeping of the meteorological log. He is a young Australian, a 
hard, conscientious worker, and I look forward to good results 
from his endeavours. Jack, another young Australian, is his as- 
sistant. Hayward is the handy man, being responsible for the 



WINTEEING m McMURDO SOUND 211 

supply of blubber. Gaze, another Australian, is working in con- 
junction with Hayward. Spencer-Smith, the padre, is in charge 
of photography, and, of course, assists in the general routine work. 
Cope is the medical officer. 

" The routine here is as follows : Four of us, myself, Stevens, 
Eichards, and Spencer-Smith, have breakfast at 7 a.m. The 
others are called at 9 a.m., and their breakfast is served. Then 
the table is cleared, the floor is swept, and the ordinary work of 
the day is commenced. At 1 p.m. we have what we call a ' counter 
lunch,' that is, cold food and cocoa. We work from 2 p.m. till 5 
p.m. After 5 p.m. people can do what they like. Dinner is at 7. 
The men play games, read, write up diaries. We turn in early, 
since we have to economize fuel and light. Night watches are 
kept by the scientific men, who have the privilege of turning in 
during the day. The day after my arrival here I gave an outline 
of our situation and explained the necessity for economy in the 
use of fuel, light, and stores, in view of the possibility that we may 
have to stay here for two years We are not going to com- 
mence work for the sledging operations until we know more defi- 
nitely the fate of the Aurora. I dare not think any disaster has 
occurred." 

During the remaining days of June the men washed and mended 
clothes, killed seals, made minor excursions in the neighbourhood 
of the hut, and discussed plans for the future. They had six dogs, 
two being bitches without experience of sledging. One of these 
bitches had given birth to a litter of pups, but she proved a poor 
mother and the young ones died. The animals had plenty of seal- 
meat and were tended carefully. 

Mackintosh called a meeting of all hands on June 26 for the 
discussion of the plans he had made for the depot-laying expedi- 
tion to be undertaken during the following spring and summer. 
" I gave an outline of the position and invited discussion from the 
members. Several points were brought up. I had suggested that 
one of our party should remain behind for the purpose of keeping 
the meteorological records and laying in a supply of meat and 
blubber. This man would be able to hand my instructions to the 



272 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

ship and pilot a party to the Bluff. It had been arranged that 
Richards should do this. Several objected on the ground that 
the whole complement would be necessary, and, after the mat- 
ter had been put to the vote, it was agreed that we should delay 
the decision until the parties had some practical work and we had 
seen how they fared. The shortage of clothing was discussed, and 
Joyce and Wild have agreed to do their best in this matter. Octo- 
ber sledging (on the Barrier) was mentioned as being too early, 
but is to be given a trial. These were the most important points 
brought up, and it was mutually and unanimously agreed that we 
could do no more. ... I know we are doing our best." 

The party was anxious to visit Cape Eoyds, north of Gape 
Evans, but at the end of June open water remained right across 
the Sound and a crossing was impossible. At Cape Royds is the 
hut used by the Shackleton Expedition of 1907-09, and the 
stores and supplies it contains might have proved very useful. 
Joyce and Wild make finneskoe (fur boots) from spare sleeping- 
bags. Mackintosh mentions that the necessity of economizing 
clothing and footgear prevented the men taking as much exercise 
as they would otherwise have done. A fair supply of canvas and 
leather had been found in the hut, and some men tried their hands 
at making shoes. Many seals had been killed and brought in, and 
the supply of meat and blubber was ample for present needs. 

During July Mackintosh made several trips northwards on the 
sea-ice, but found always that he could not get far. A crack 
stretched roughly from Inaccessible Island to the Bame Glacier, 
and the ice beyond looked weak and loose. The improving light 
told of the returning sun. Richards and Jack were weighing out 
stores in readiness for the sledging expeditions. Mackintosh, from 
the hill behind the hut, saw open water stretching westward from 
Inaccessible Island on August 1, and noted that probably Mc- 
Murdo Sound was never completely frozen over. A week later the 
extent of the open water appeared to have increased, and the men 
began to despair of getting to Cape Royds. Blizzards were fre- 
quent and persistent. A few useful articles were found in the 
neighbourhood of the hut as the light improved, including some 



WINTEEING IN McMUKDO SOUND 273 

discarded socks and underwear, left by members of the Scott Ex- 
pedition, and a case of candied peel, which was used for cakes. A 
small fire broke out in the hut on August 12. The acetylene-gas 
lighting plant installed in the hut by Captain Scott had been 
rigged, and one day it developed a leak. A member of the party 
searched for the leak with a lighted candle, and the explosion 
that resulted fired some woodwork. Fortunately the outbreak was 
extinguished quickly. The loss of the hut at this stage would have 
been a tragic incident. 

Mackintosh and Stevens paid a visit to Cape Eoyds on August 
13. They had decided to attempt the journey over the Barne 
Glacier, and after crossing a crevassed area they got to the slopes 
of Cape Barne and thence down to the sea-ice. They found this 
ice to be newly formed, but sufficiently strong for their purpose, 
and soon reached the Cape Eoyds hut. " The outer door of the 
hut we found to be off," wrote Mackintosh. " A little snow had 
drifted into the porch, but with a shovel, which we found outside, 
this was soon cleared away. We then entered, and in the centre 
of the hut found a pile of snow and ice, which had come through 
the open ventilator in the roof of the hut. We soon closed this. 
Stevens prepared a meal while I cleared the ice and snow away 
from the middle of the hut. After our meal we commenced tak- 
ing an inventory of the stores inside. Tobacco was our first 
thought. Of this we found one tin of JSTavy Cut and a box of 
cigars. Soap, too, which now ensures us a wash and clean clothes 
when we get back. We then began to look round for a sleeping- 
bag. No bags were here, however, but on the improvised beds of 
cases we found two mattresses, an old canvas screen, and two 
blankets. We took it in turns to turn in. Stevens started first, 
while I kept the fire going. No coal or blubber was here, so we 
had to use wood, which, while keeping the person alongside it 
warm did not raise the temperature of the hut over freezing-point. 
Over the stove in a conspicuous place we found a notice left by 
Scott's party that parties using the hut should leave the dishes 
clean." 

Mackintosh and Stevens stayed at the Cape Eoyds hut over the 



2Y4 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

next day and made a thorough examination of the stores there. 
They found outside the hut a pile of cases containing meats, flour, 
dried vegetables, and sundries, at least a year's supply for a 
party of six. They found no new clothing, but made a collection 
of worn garments, which could be mended and made serviceable. 
Carrying loads of their spoils, they set out for Cape Evans on the 
morning of August 15 across the sea-ice. Very weak ice barred 
the way and they had to travel round the coast. They got back 
to Cape Evans in two hours. During their absence Wild and 
Gaze had clinabed Inaccessible Island, Gaze having an ear badly 
frost-bitten on the journey. The tobacco was divided among the 
members of the party. A blizzard was raging the next day, and 
Mackintosh congratulated himself on having chosen the time for 
his trip fortunately. 

The record of the remaining part of August is not eventful. 
All hands were making preparations for the sledging, and were 
rejoicing in the increasing daylight. The party tried the special 
sledging ration prepared under my own direction, and " all agreed 
it was excellent both in bulk and taste." Three emperor penguins, 
the first seen since the landing, were caught on August 19. By 
that time the returning sun was touching with gold the peaks of 
the Western Mountains and throwing into bold relief the mas- 
sive form of Erebus. The volcano was emitting a great deal of 
smoke, and the glow of its internal fires showed occasionally against 
the smoke-clouds above the crater. Stevens, Spencer-Smith, and 
Cope went to Cape Eoyds on the 20th, and were still there when 
the sun made its first appearance over Erebus on the 26th. Pre- 
ceding days had been cloudy, and the sun, although above the 
horizon, had not been visible. " The morning broke clear and 
fine," wrote Mackintosh. " Over Erebus the sun's rays peeped 
through the massed cumulus and produced the most gorgeous cloud 
effects. The light made us all blink and at the same time caused 
the greatest exuberance of spirits. We felt like men released 
from prison. I stood outside the hut and looked at the truly 
wonderful scenery all round. The West Mountains were superb 
in their wild grandeur. The whole outline of peaks, some eighty 



WINTERING IN Mc'MURDO SOUND 2Y5 

or ninety miles distant, showed up, stencilled in delicate contrast 
to the skyline. The immense ice-slopes shone white as alabaster 
against dark shadows. The sky to the west over the mountains was 
clear, except for low-lying banks at the foot of the slopes round 
about Mount Discovery. To the south hard streaks of stratus lay 
heaped up to 30 degrees above the horizon. . . . Then Erebus 
commenced to emit volumes of smoke, which rose hundreds of 
feet and trailed away in a north-westerly direction. The south- 
ern slopes of Erebus were enveloped in a mass of cloud." The 
party from Cape Eoyds returned that afternoon, and there was 
disappointment at their report that no more tobacco had been 
found. 

The sledging of stores to Hut Point, in preparation for the depot- 
laying journeys on the Barrier, was to begin on September 1. 
Mackintosh, before that date, had discussed plans fully with the 
members of his party. He considered that sufEcient sledging pro- 
visions were available at Cape Evans, the supply landed from the 
ship being supplemented by the stores left by the Scott Expedition 
of 1912-13 and the Shackleton Expedition of 1907-09. The 
supply of clothing and tents was more difficult. Garments brought 
from the ship could be supplemented by old clothing found at 
Hut Point and Cape Evans. The Burberry wind-proof outer 
garments were old and in poor order for the start of a season's 
sledging. Old sleeping-bags had been cut up to make finneskoe 
(fur boots) and mend other sleeping-bags. Three tents were 
available, one sound one landed from the Aurora, and two old ones 
left by Captain Scott. Mackintosh had enough sledges, but the 
experience of the first journey with the dogs had been unfortunate, 
and there were now only four useful dogs left. They did not make 
a full team and would have to be used merely as an auxiliary to 
man haulage. 

The scheme adopted by Mackintosh, after discussion with the 
members of his party, was that nine men, divided into three par- 
ties of three each, should undertake the sledging. One man would 
be left at Cape Evans to continue the meteorological observations 
during the summer. The motor-tractor, which had been left at 



276 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Hut Point, was to be brought to Cape Evans and, if possible, put 
into working order. Mackintosh estimated that the provisions re- 
quired for the consumption of the depot parties, and for the depots 
to be placed southward to the foot of the Beardmore Glacier, would 
amount to 4000 lbs. The first depot was to be placed off Minna 
Bluff, and from there southward a depot was to be placed on each 
degree of latitude. The final depot would be made at the foot of 
the Beardmore Glacier. The initial task would be the haulage of 
stores from Cape Evans to Hut Point, a distance of 13 miles. All 
the sledging stores had to be taken across, and Mackintosh pro- 
posed to place additional supplies there in case a party, returning 
late from the Barrier, had to spend winter months at Hut Point. 

The first party, consisting of Mackintosh, Richards, and Spen- 
cer-Smith, left Cape Evans on September 1 with 600 lbs. of stores 
on one sledge, and had an uneventful journey to Hut Point. 
They pitched a tent half-way across the bay on the sea-ice, and 
left it there for the use of the varioiis parties during the month. 
At Hut Point they cleared the snow from the motor-tractor and 
made some preliminary efforts to get it into working order. They 
returned to Cape Evans on the 3rd. The second trip to Hut 
Point was made by a party of nine, with three sledges. Two 
sledges, man-hauled, were loaded with 12Y8 lbs. of stores, and a 
smaller sledge, drawn by the dogs, carried the sleeping-bags. This 
party encountered a stiff southerly breeze, with low temperature, 
and, as the men were still in rather soft condition, they suffered 
much from frost-bites. Joyce and Gaze both had their heels 
badly blistered. Mackintosh's face suffered, and other men had 
fingers and ears " bitten." When they returned Gaze had to 
travel on a sledge, since he could not set foot to the ground. They 
tried to haul the motor to Cape Evans on this occasion, but left 
it for another time after covering a mile or so. The motor was 
not working and was heavy to pull. 

Eight men made the third journey to Hut Point, Gaze and 
Jack remaining behind. They took 660 lbs. of oil and 630 lbs. 
of stores. Prom Hut Point the next day (September 14) the 



WINTEEING IN McMUEDO SOUND 2YY 

party proceeded with loaded sledges to Safety Camp, on the edge 
of the Barrier. This camp would be the starting-point for the 
march over the Barrier to the Minna Buff depot. They left the 
two sledges, with 660 lbs. of oil and 500 lbs. of oatmeal, sugar, 
and sundries, at Safety Camp and returned to Hut Point. The 
dogs shared the work on this journey. The next day Mackintosh 
and his companions took the motor to Cape Evans, hauling it with 
its grip-wheels mounted on a sledge. After a pause due to bad 
weather, a party of eight men took another load to Hut Point on 
September 24, and on to Safety Camp the next day. They got 
back to Cape Evans on the 16th. Richards meanwhile had over- 
hauled the motor and given it some trial runs on the sea-ice. But 
he reported that the machine was not working satisfactorily, and 
Mackintosh decided not to persevere with it. 

" Everybody is up to their eyes in work," runs the last entry 
in the journal left by Mackintosh at Cape Evans. "All gear is 
being overhauled, and personal clothing is having the last stitches. 
We have been improvising shoes to replace the finneskoe, of which 
we are badly short. Wild has made an excellent shoe out of an 
old horse rug he found here, and this is being copied by other 
men. I have made myself a pair of mitts out of an old sleeping- 
bag. Last night I had a bath, the second since being here. . . . 
I close this journal to-day (September 30) and am packing it with 
my papers here. To-morrow we start for Hut Point. Nine of 
us are going on the sledge party for laying depots ; namely, Stevens, 
Spencer-Smith, Joyce, Wild, Cope, Hayward, Jack, Eichards, and 
myself. Gaze, who is still suffering from bad feet, is remaining 
behind and will probably be relieved by Stevens after our first 
trip. With us we take three months' provisions to leave at Hut 
Point. I continue this journal in another book, which I keep 
with me." 

The nine men reached Hut Point on October 1. They took 
the last loads with them. Three sledges and three tents were to 
be taken on to the Barrier, and the parties were as follows : No. 
1: Mackintosh, Spencer-Smith, and Wild; No. 2: Joyce, Cope, 



278 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

and Richards ; No. 3 : Jack, Hayward, and Gaze. On October 3 
and 4 some stores left at Half-Way Camp were brought in, and 
other stores were moved on to Safety Camp. Bad weather de- 
layed the start of the depot-laying expedition from Hut Point 
until October 9. 



CHAPTER XV 

lATING THE DEPOTS 

Mackintosh's account of the depot-laying journeys undertaken 
by his parties in the summer of 1915-16 unfortunately is not 
available. The leader of the parties kept a diary, but he had 
the book with him when he was lost on the sea-ice in the follow- 
ing winter. The narrative of the journeys has been compiled 
from the notes kept by Joyce, Richards, and other members of 
the parties, and I may say here that it is a record of dogged en- 
deavour in the face of great difficulties and serious dangers. It 
is always easy to be wise after the event, and one may realize 
now that the use of the dogs, untrained and soft from shipboard 
inactivity, on the comparatively short journey undertaken im- 
mediately after the landing in 1915 was a mistake. The result 
was the loss of nearly all the dogs before the longer and more 
important journeys of 1915-16 were undertaken. The men were 
sledging almost continuously during a period of six months ; they 
suffered from frost-bite, scurvy, snow-blindness, and the utter 
weariness of overtaxed bodies. But they placed the depots in 
the required positions, and if the Weddell Sea party had been 
able to make the crossing of the Antarctic continent, the stores 
and fuel would have been waiting for us where we expected to 
find them. 

The position on October 9 was that the nine men at Hut Point 
had with them the stores required for the depots and for their 
own maintenance throughout the summer. The remaining dogs 
were at Cape Evans with Gaze, who had a sore heel and had been 
replaced temporarily by Stevens in the sledging party. A small 
quantity of stores had been conveyed already to Safety Camp on 
the edge of the Barrier beyond Hut Point. Mackintosh intended 

279 



280 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

to form a large depot off Minna Bluff, seventy miles out from 
Hut Point. This would necessitate several trips with heavy loads. 
Then he would use the Bluff depot as a base for the journey to 
Mount Hope, at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier, where the 
final depot was to he laid. 

The party left Hut Point on the morning of October 9, the 
nine men hauling on one rope and trailing three loaded sledges. 
They reached Safety Camp in the early afternoon, and, after 
repacking the sledges with a load of about 2000 lbs., they began 
the journey over the Barrier. The pulling proved exceedingly 
heavy, and they camped at the end of half a mile. It was de- 
cided next day to separate the sledges, three men to haul each 
sledge. Mackintosh hoped that better progress could be made 
in this way. The distance for the day was only four miles, and 
the next day's journey was no better. Joyce mentions that he 
had never done harder pulling, the surface being soft, and the 
load amounting to 220 lbs. per man. The new arrangement was 
not a success, owing to differences in hauling capacity and in- 
equalities in the loading of the sledges; and on the morning of 
the 12th, Mackintosh, after consultation, decided to push for- 
ward with Wild and Spencer-Smith, hauling one sledge and a re- 
latively light load, and leave Joyce and the remaining five men 
to bring two sledges and the rest of the stores at their best pace. 
This arrangement was maintained on the later journeys. The 
temperatures were falling below — 30° Fahr., at some hours, and, 
as the men perspired freely while hauling their heavy loads in 
the sun, they suffered a great deal of discomfort in the damp and 
freezing clothes at night. Joyce cut down his load on the 13th 
by depoting some rations and spare clothing, and made better 
progress. He was building snow cairns as guide-posts for use 
on the return journey. He mentions passing some large crevasses 
during succeeding days. Persistent head winds with occasional 
drift made the conditions unpleasant and caused many frost-bites. 
When the surface was hard, and the pulling comparatively easy, 
the men slipped and fell continually, " looking much like classical 
dancers." 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 281 

On the 20th a northerly wind made possible the use of a sail, 
and Joyce's party made rapid progress. Jack sighted a bamboo 
pole during the afternoon, and Joyce found that it marked a 
depot he had laid for my own " Farthest South " party in 1908. 
He dug down in the hope of finding some stores, but the depot 
had been cleared. The party reached the Bluff depot on the 
evening of the 21st and found that Mackintosh had been there 
on the 19th. Mackintosh had left 1Y8 lbs. of provisions, and 
Joyce left one sledge and 273 lbs. of stores. The most interest- 
ing incident of the return journey was the discovery of a note 
left by Mr. Cherry Garrard for Captain Scott on March 19, 1912, 
only a few days before the latter perished at his camp further 
south. An upturned sledge at this point was found to mark a 
depot of dog-biscuit and motor-oil, laid by one of Captain Scott's 
parties. Joyce reached Safety Camp on the afternoon of the 
27th, and, after dumping all spare gear, pushed on to Hut Point 
in a blizzard. The sledges nearly went over a big drop at the 
edge of the Barrier, and a few moments later Stevens dropped 
down a crevasse to the length of his harness. " Had a tough job 
getting him up, as we had no alpine rope and had to use har- 
ness," wrote Joyce. " Got over all right and had a very hard 
pull against wind and snow, my face getting frost-bitten as I had 
to keep looking up to steer. We arrived at the hut about 7.30 
p.m. after a very hard struggle. We found the captain and 
his party there. They had been in for three days. Gaze was 
also there with the dogs. We soon had a good feed and forgot our 
hard day's work." 

Mackintosh decided to make use of the dogs on the second 
journey to the Bluff depot. He thought that with the aid of 
the dogs heavier loads might be hauled. This plan involved the 
dispatch of a party to Cape Evans to get dog pemmican. Mack- 
intosh himself, with Wild and Spencer-Smith, started south again 
on October 29. Their sledge overturned on the slope down to 
the sea-ice, and the rim of their tent-spread was broken. The 
damage did not appear serious, and the party soon disappeared 
round Cape Armitage. Joyce remained in charge at Hut Point, 



282 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

with instructions to get dog food from Cape Evans and make a 
start soutli as soon as possible. He sent Stevens, Hayward, and 
Cope to Cape Evans the next day, and busied himself with the 
repair of sledging-gear. Cope, Hayward, and Gaze arrived back 
from Cape Evans on ISTovember 1, Stevens having stayed at the 
base. A blizzard delayed the start southward, and the party did 
not get away until JSTovember 5. The men pulled in harness with 
the four dogs, and, as the surface was soft and the loads on the 
two sledges were heavy, the advance was slow. The party covered 
5 miles YOO yards on the 6th, 4 miles 300 yards on the Tth, and 8 
miles 1800 yards on the 9th, with the aid of a light northerly 
wind. They passed on the 9th a huge bergstrom, with a drop of 
about 70 feet from the flat surface of the Barrier. Joyce thought 
that a big crevasse had caved in. " We took some photographs," 
wrote Joyce. " It is a really extraordinary fall-in of ice, with 
cliffs of blue ice about 70 feet high, and heavily crevassed, with 
overhanging snow-curtains. One could easily walk over the edge 
coming from the north in thick weather." Another bergstrom, 
with crevassed ice around it, was encountered on the 11th. Joyce 
reached the Bluff depot on the evening of the 14th and found 
that he could leave 624 lbs. of provisions. Mackintosh had been 
there several days earlier and had left 188 lbs. of stores. 

Joyce made Hut Point again on ISTovember 20 after an ad- 
venturous day. The surface was good in the morning and he 
pushed forward rapidly. About 10.30 a.m. the party encoun- 
tered heavy pressure ice with crevasses, and had many narrow 
escapes. " After lunch we came on four crevasses quite suddenly. 
Jack fell through. We could not alter course, or else we should 
have been steering among them, so galloped right across. We 
were going so fast that the dogs that went through were jerked 
out. It came on very thick at 2 p.m. Every bit of land was 
obscured, and it was hard to steer. Decided to make for Hut 
Point, and arrived att 6.30 p.m., after doing twenty-two miles, 
a very good performance. I had a bad attack of snow-blindnes3 
and had to use cocaine. Hayward also had a bad time. I was 
laid up and had to keep my eyes bandaged for three days. Hay- 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 283 

ward, too." Tlie two men were about again on November 24, 
and the party started south on its third journey to the Bluff on 
the 25th. Mackintosh was some distance ahead, but the two 
parties met on the 28th and had some discussion as to plans; 
Mackintosh was proceeding to the Bluff depot with the intention 
of. taking a load of stores to the depot placed on lat. 80° S. in 
the first season's sledging. Joyce, after depositing his third load 
at the Bluff, would return to Hut Point for a fourth and last 
load, and the parties would then join forces for the journey south- 
ward to Mount Hope. 

Joyce left 729 lbs. at the Bluff depot on December 2, reached 
Hut Point on December 7, and, after allowing dogs and men a 
good rest, he moved southward again on December 13. This 
proved to be the worst journey the party had made. The men 
had much trouble with crevasses, and they were held up by 
blizzards on December 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 26, and 27. They 
spent Christmas Day struggling through soft snow against an icy 
wind and drift. The party reached the Bluff depot on December 
28, and found that Mackintosh, who had been much delayed by 
the bad weather, had gone south two days earlier on his way to 
the 80° S. depot. He had not made much progress and his camp 
was in sight. He had left instructions for Joyce to follow him. 
The Bluff depot was now well stocked. Between 2800 and 2900 
lbs. of provisions had been dragged to the depot for the use of 
parties working to the south of this point. This quantity was in 
addition to stores placed there earlier in the year. 

Joyce left the Bluff depot on December 29, and the parties 
were together two days later. Mackintosh handed Joyce in- 
structions to proceed with his party to lat. 81° S., and place a 
depot there. He was then to send three men back to Hut Point 
and proceed to lat. 82° S., where he would lay another depot. 
Then if provisions permitted he would push south as far as lat. 
83°. Mackintosh himself was reinforcing the depot at lat. 80° 
S. and would then carry on southward. Apparently his instruc- 
tions to Joyce were intended to guard against the contingency 
of the parties failing to meet. The dogs were hauling well, and 



284 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

though their number was small they were of very great assistance. 
The parties were now ninety days out from Cape Evans, and 
" all hands were feeling fit." 

The next incident of importance was the appearance of a de- 
fect in one of the two Primus lamps used by Joyce's party. The 
lamps had all seen service with one or other of Captain Scott's 
parties, and they had not been in first-class condition when the 
sledging commenced. The threatened failure of a lamp was a 
matter of grave moment, since a party could not travel without 
the means of melting snow and preparing hot food. If Joyce 
took a faulty lamp past the 80° S. depot, his whole party might 
have to turn back at lat. 81° S., and this would imperil the suc- 
cess of the season's sledging. He decided, therefore, to send three 
men back from the 80° S. depot, which he reached on January 
6, 1916. Cope, Gaze, and Jack were the men to return. They 
took the defective Primus and a light load, and by dint of hard 
travelling, without the aid of dogs, they reached Cape Evans on 
January 16. 

Joyce, Eichards, and Hayward went forward with a load of 
1280 lbs., comprising twelve weeks' sledging rations, dog food, 
and depot supplies, in addition to the sledging-gear. They built 
cairns at short intervals as guides to the depots. Joyce was feed- 
ing the dogs well and giving them a hot hoosh every third night. 
" It is worth it for the wonderful amount of work they are doing. 
If we can keep them to 82° S. I can honestly say it is through 
their work we have got through." On January 8 Mackintosh 
joined Joyce, and from that point the parties, six men strong, 
went forward together. They marched in thick weather during 
January 10, 11, and 12, keeping the course by means of cairns, 
with a scrap of black cloth on top of each one. It was possible, 
by keeping the cairns in line behind the sledges and building new 
ones as old ones disappeared, to march on an approximately 
straight line. On the evening of the 12th they reached lat. 81° 
S., and built a large cairn for the depot. The stores left here 
were three weeks' rations for the ordinary sledging unit of three 
men. This quantity would provide five days' rations for twelve 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 285 

men, half for the use of the overland party, and half for the 
depot party on its return journey. 

The party moved southwards again on January 13 in bad 
weather. " After a little consultation we decided to get under 
way," wrote Joyce. " Although the weather is thick, and snow 
is falling, it is worth while to make the effort. A little patience 
with the direction and the cairns, even if one has to put them up 
200 yds. apart, enables us to advance, and it seems that this 
weather will never break. We have cut up an old pair of trousers 
belonging to Eichards to place on the sides of the cairns, so as 
to make them more prominent. It was really surprising to find 
how we got on in spite of the snow and the piecrust surface. We 
did 5 miles 75 yds. before lunch. The dogs are doing splendidly. 
I really don't know how we should manage if it were not for 
them. . . . The distance for the day was 10 miles 720 yds., a 
splendid performance considering surface and weather." 

The weather cleared on the 14th; and the men were able to 
get bearings from the mountains to the westward. They ad- 
vanced fairly rapidly during succeeding days, the daily distances 
being from ten to twelve miles, and reached lat. 82° S. on the 
morning of January 18. The depot here, like the depot at 81° 
S., contained five days' provisions for twelve men. Mackintosh 
was having trouble with the Primus lamp in his tent, and this 
made it inadvisable to divide the party again. It was decided, 
therefore, that all should proceed, and that the next and last 
depot should be placed on the base of Mount Hope, at the foot 
of the Beardmore Glacier, in lat. 83° 30' S. The party pro- 
ceeded at once and advanced five miles beyond the depot before 
camping on the evening of the 18 th. 

The sledge-loads were now comparatively light, and on the 19th 
the party covered 13 miles 700 yds. A new trouble was develop- 
ing, for Spencer-Smith was suffering from swollen and painful 
legs, and was unable to do much pulling. Joyce wrote on the 
21st that Smith was worse, and that Mackintosh was showing 
signs of exhaustion. A mountain that he believed to be Mount 
Hope could be seen right ahead, over thirty miles away. Spencer- 



286 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Smith, who had struggled forward gamely and made no unneces- 
sary complaints, started with the party the next morning and 
kept going until shortly before noon. Then he reported his in- 
ability to proceed, and Mackintosh called a halt. Spencer-Smith 
suggested that he should be left with provisions and a tent while 
the other members of the party pushed on to Mount Hope, and 
pluckily assured Mackintosh that the rest would put him right 
and that he would be ready to march when they returned. The 
party agreed, after a brief consultation, to adopt this plan. 
Mackintosh felt that the depot must be laid, and that delay would 
be dangerous. Spencer-Smith was left with a tent, one sledge, 
and provisions, and told to expect the returning party in about 
a week. The tent was made as comfortable as possible inside, 
and food was placed within the sick man's reach. Spencer-Smith 
bade his companions a cheery good-bye after lunch, and the party 
was six or seven miles away before evening. Five men had to 
squeeze into one tent that night, but with a minus temperature 
they did not object to being crowded. 

On January 23 a thick fog obscured all landmarks, and as 
bearings of the mountains were now necessary the party had to 
camp at 11 a.m., after travelling only four miles. The thick 
weather continued over the 24th, and the men did not move again 
until the morning of the 25th. They did 17% miles that day, 
and camped at 6 p,m. on the edge of " the biggest ice pressure " 
Joyce had ever seen. They were steering in towards the moun- 
tain and were encountering the tremendous congestion created by 
the flow of the Beardmore Glacier into the Barrier ice. 

" We decided to keep the camp up," ran Joyce's account of 
the work done on January 26. " Skipper, Eichards, and myself 
roped ourselves together, I taking the lead, to try and find a 
course through this pressure. We came across very wide cre- 
vasses, went down several, came on top of a very high ridge, and 
such a scene! Imagine thousands of tons of ice churned up to 
a depth of about 300 ft. We took a couple of photographs, then 
carried on to the east. At last we found a passage through, and 
carried on through smaller crevasses to Mount Hope, or we hoped 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 287 

it was the mountain by that name. We can see a great glacier 
ahead which we tate for the Beardmore, which this mountain is 
on, but the position on the chart seems wrong (it was not ' E. H. 
S. ■"), We nearly arrived at the ice-foot when Eichards saw 
something to the right, which turned out to be two of Captain 
Scott's sledges, upright, but three-quarters buried in snow. Then 
we knew for certain this was the place we had struggled to get 
to. So we climbed the glacier on the slope and went up about 
one and a quarter miles, and saw the great Beardmore Glacier 
stretching to the south. It is about twenty-five miles wide — a 
most wonderful sight. Then we returned to our camp, which we 
found to be six miles away. We left at 8 a.m. and arrived back 
at 3 p.m., a good morning's work. We then had lunch. About 
4 p.m. we got under way and proceeded with the two sledges and 
camped about 7 o'clock. Wild, Hayward, and myself then took 
the depot up the Glacier, a fortnight's provisions. We left it 
lashed to a broken sledge, and put up a large flag. I took two 
photographs of it. We did not arrive back until 10.30 p.m. It 
was rather a heavy pull up. I was very pleased to see our work 
completed at last. . . . Turned in 12 o'clock. The distance done 
during day 22 miles." 

The party remained in camp until 3.30 p.m. on the 27th, owing 
to a blizzard with heavy snow. Then they made a start in clearer 
weather and got through the crevassed area before camping at 7 
p.m. Joyce was suffering from snow-blindness. They were now 
homeward bound, with 365 miles to go. They covered 16% miles 
on the 28th, with Joyce absolutely blind and hanging to the har- 
ness for guidance, " but still pulling his whack." They reached 
Spencer-Smith's camp the next afternoon and found him in his 
sleeping-bag, quite unable to walk. Joyce's diary of this date 
contains a rather gloomy reference to the outlook, since he guessed 
that Mackintosh also would be unable to make the homeward 
march. " The dogs are still keeping fit," he added. " If they 
will only last to 80° S. we shall then have enough food to take 
them in, and then if the ship is in I guarantee they will live in 
comfort the remainder of their lives," 



288 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

No inarch could be made on the 30th, since a blizzard was 
raging. The party made 8 miles on the 31st, with Spencer-Smith 
on one of the sledges in his sleeping-bag. The sufferer was quite 
helpless, and had to be lifted and carried about, but his courage 
did not fail him. His words were cheerful even when his phys- 
ical suffering and weakness were most pronounced. The distance 
for February 1 was 13 miles. The next morning the party 
abandoned one sledge, in order to lighten the load, and proceeded 
with a single sledge, Spencer-Smith lying on top of the stores 
and gear. The distance for the day was 15% miles. They 
picked up the 82° S. depot on February 3, and took one week's 
provisions, leaving two weeks' rations for the overland party. 
Joyce, Wild, Eichards, and Hayward were feeling fit. Mackin- 
tosh was lame and weak; Spencer-Smith's condition was alarm- 
ing. The party was being helped by strong southerly winds, and 
the distances covered were decidedly good. The sledge-meter re- 
corded 15 miles 1700 yds. on February 4, 17 miles 1400 yds. on 
the 5th, 18 miles 1200 yds. on the 6th, and 13 miles 1000 yds. 
on the 7th, when the 81° S. depot was picked up at 10.30 a.m., 
and one week's stores taken, two weeks' rations being left. 

The march to the next depot, at 80° S., was uneventful. The 
party made good marches in spite of bad surfaces and thick 
weather, and reached the depot late in the afternoon of February 
12. The supply of stores at this depot was ample, and the men 
took a fortnight's rations (calculated on a three-man basis), leav- 
ing nearly four weeks' rations. Spencer-Smith seemed a little 
better, and all hands were cheered by the rapid advance. Feb- 
ruary 14, 15, and 16 were bad days, the soft surface allowing 
the men to sink to their knees at .times. The dogs had a rough 
time, and the daily distances fell to about eight miles. Mackin- 
tosh's weakness was increasing. Then on the 18th, when the 
party was within twelve miles of the Bluff depot, a furious bliz- 
zard made travelling impossible. This blizzard raged for five 
days. Eations were reduced on the second day, and the party 
went on half-rations the third day. 

" Still blizzarding," wrote Joyce on the 20th. " Things are 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 289 

serious, what with our patient, and provisions running short. 
Dog provisions are nearly out, and we have to halve their rations. 
We are now on one cup of hoosh among the three of us, with 
one hiscuit and six lumps- of sugar. The most serious of calam- 
ities is that our oil is running out. We have plenty of tea, but 
no fuel to cook it with." The men in Mackintosh's tent were in 
no better plight. Mackintosh himself was in a bad way. He was 
uncertain about his ability to resume the march, but was deter- 
mined to try. 

" Still blizzarding," wrote Joyce again on the 21st. " We are 
lying in pools of water made by our bodies through staying in 
the same place for such a long time. I don't know what we shall 
do if this does not ease. It has been blowing continuously with- 
out a lull. The food for to-day was one cup of pemmican amongst 
three of us, one biscuit each, and two cups of tea among the 
three." The kerosene was exhausted, but Richards improvised a 
lamp by pouring some spirit (intended for priming the oil-lamp) 
into a mug, lighting it, and holding another mug over it. It took 
haK an hour to heat a mug of melted snow in this way. " Same 
old thing, no ceasing of this blizzard," was Joyce's note twenty- 
four hours later. " Hardly any food left except tea and sugar. 
Richards, Hayward, and I, after a long talk, decided to get 
under way to-morrow in any case, or else we shall be sharing the 
fate of Captain Scott and his party. The other tent seems to be 
very quiet, but now and again we hear a burst of song from Wild, 
so they are in the land of the living. We gave the dogs the last 
of their food to-night, so we shall have to push, as a great deal 
depends on them." Further quotations from Joyce's diary tell 
their own story. 

"February 23, Wednesday. — About 11 o'clock saw a break in 
the clouds and the sun showing. Decided to have the meal we 
kept for getting under way. Sang out to the Skipper's party 
that we should shift as soon as we had a meal. I asked Wild, 
and found they had a bag of oatmeal, some Bovril cubes, one bag 
of chocolate, and eighteen biscuits, so they are much better off 
than we are. After we had our meal we started to dig out our 



290 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

sledge, whicli we found right imder. It took us two hours, and 
one would hardly credit how weak we were. Two digs of the 
shovel and we were out of breath. This was caused through out 
lying up on practically no food. After getting sledge out we 
took it around to the Skipper's tent on account of the heavy 
sastrugi, which was very high. Got under way about 2.20. Had 
to stop very often on account of sail, etc. About 3.20 the Skipper, 
who had tied himself to the rear of the sledge, found it impossible 
to proceed. So after a consultation with Wild and party, de- 
cided to pitch their tent, leaving Wild to look after the Skipper 
and Spencer-Smith, and make the best of our way to the depot, 
which is anything up to twelve miles away. So we made them 
comfortable and left them about 3.40. I told Wild I should leave 
as much as possible and get back 26th or 27th, weather permitting, 
but just as we left them it came on to snow pretty hard, sun going 
in, and we found even with the four dogs we could not make more 
than one-half to three-quarters of a mile an hour. The surface 
is so bad that sometimes you go in up to your waist ; still in spite 
of all this we carried on until 6.35. Camped in a howling 
blizzard. I found my left foot badly frost-bitten. Now after 
this march we came into our banquet — one cup of tea and half 
a biscuit. Turned in at 9 o'clock. Situation does not look very 
cheerful. This is really the worst surface I have ever comoacross 
in all my journeys here." 

Mackintosh had stayed on his feet as long as was humanly pos- 
sible. The records of the outward journey show clearly that he 
was really unfit to continue beyond the 82° S. depot, and other 
members of the party would have liked him to have stayed with 
Spencer-Smith at lat. 83° S. But the responsibility for the work 
to be done was primarily his, and he would not give in. He had 
been suffering for several weeks from what he cheerfully called 
" a sprained leg," owing to scurvy. He marched for haK an 
hour on the 23rd before breaking down, but had to be supported 
partly by Richards. Spencer-Smith was sinking. Wild, who 
stayed in charge of the two invalids, was in fairly good condi- 
tion. Joyce, Richards, and Hayward, who had undertaken the 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 291 

relief journey, were all showing symptoms of scurvy, though in 
varying degrees. Their legs were weak, their gums swollen. The 
decision that the invalids, with "Wild, should stay in camp from 
February 24, while Joyce's party pushed forward to Bluff depot, 
was justified fully by the circumstances. Joyce, Richards, and 
Hayward had difficulty in reaching the depot with a nearly empty 
sledge. An attempt to make their journey with two helpless men 
might have involved the loss of the whole party. 

"February 24, Thursday. — Up at 4.30; had one cup of tea, 
half biscuit ; under way after 7. Weather, snowing and blowing 
like yesterday. Richards laying the cairns had great trouble 
in getting the compass within 10° on account of wind. During 
the forenoon had to stop every quarter of an hour on account 
of our breath. Every time the sledge struck a drift she stuck in 
(although only 200 lbs.), and in spite of three men and four dogs 
we could only shift her with the 1 — 2 — 3 haul. I wonder if 
this weather will ever clear up. Camped in an exhausted condi- 
tion about 12.10. Lunch, half cup of weak tea and quarter bis- 
cuit, which took over half an hour to make. Richards and Hay- 
"ward went out of tent to prepare for getting under way, but the 
force of wind and snow drove them back. The force of wind 
is about seventy to eighty miles per hour. We decided to get the 
sleeping-bags in, which took some considerable time. The worst 
of camping is the poor dogs and our weak condition, which means 
we have to get out of our wet sleeping-bags and have another half 
cup of tea without working for it. With scrapings from dog- 
tank it is a very scanty meal. This is the second day the dogs 
have been without food, and if we cannot soon pick up depot and 
save the dogs it will be almost impossible to drag our two invalids 
back the one hundred miles which we have to go. The wind 
carried on with unabating fury until 7 o'clock, and then came 
a lull. We at once turned out, but found it snowing so thickly 
that it was impossible to proceed on account of our weakness. 
No chance must we miss. Turned in again. Wind sprang up 
again vtith heavy drift 8.30. In spite of everything my tent-mates 
are very cheerful and look on the bright side of everything. After 



292 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

a talk we decided to wait and turned in. It is really wonderful 
v^'hat dreams we have, especially of food. Trusting in Provi- 
dence for fine weather to-morrow. 

" February 25, Friday. — Turned out 4.45. Richards pre- 
pared our usual banquet, half cup of tea, quarter biscuit, which 
we relished. Under way at Y, carried on, halting every ten 
minutes or quarter of an hour. Weather, snowing and blowing 
same as yesterday. We are in a very weak state, but we cannot give 
in. We often talk about poor Captain Scott and the blizzard 
that finished him and party. If we had stayed in our tent an- 
other day I don't think we should have got under way at all, and 
we would have shared the same fate. But if the worst comes we 
have made up our minds to carry on and die in harness. If 
any one were to see us on trek they would be surprised, three 
men staggering on with four dogs, very weak; practically empty 
sledge with fair wind and just crawling along; our clothes are 
all worn out, finneskoe and sleeping-bags torn. Tent is our worst 
point, all torn in front, and we are afraid to camp on account 
of it, as it is too cold to mend it. We camped for our grand 
lunch at noon. After five hours' struggling I think we did about 
three miles. After lunch sat in our tent talking over the situa- 
tion. Decided to get under way again as soon as there is any 
clearance. Snowing and blowing, force about fifty or sixty miles 
an hour. 

" February 26, Saturday. — Richards went out 1.10 a.m. and 
found it clearing a bit, so we got under way as soon as possible, 
which was 2.10 a.m. About 2.35 Richards sighted depot, which 
seemed to be right on top of us. I suppose we camped no more 
than three-quarters of a mile from it. The dogs sighted it, which 
seemed to electrify them. They had new life and started to run, 
but we were so weak that we could not go more than 200 yds. and 
then spell. I think another day would have seen us off. Ar- 
rived at depot 3.25; found it in a dilapidated condition, cases all 
about the place. I don't suppose there has ever been a weaker 
party arrive at any depot, either north or south. After a hard 
struggle got our tent up and made camp. Then gave the dogs 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 293 

a good feed of pemmican. If ever dogs saved the lives of any 
one they have saved ours. Let us hope they will continue in good 
health, so that we can get out to our comrades. I started on our 
cooking. Not one of us had any appetite, although we were in 
the land of plenty, as we call this depot; plenty of biscuit, etc., 
but we could not eat. I think it is the reaction, not only in ar- 
riving here, but also finding no news of the ship, which was 
arranged before we left. We all think there has been a calamity 
there. Let us hope for the best. We decided to have rolled- 
oats and milk for a start, which went down very well, and then 
a cup of tea. How cheery the Primus sounds. It seems like 
coming out of a thick London fog into a drawing-room. After a 
consultation we decided to have a meal of pemmican in four hours, 
and so on, until our weakness was gone. Later. — Still the same 
weather. We shall get under way and make a forced march back 
as soon as possible. I think we shall get stronger travelling and 
feeding well. Later. — Weather will not permit us to travel yet. 
Mended our torn tent with food bags. This took four hours. 
Feeding the dogs every four hours, and Richards and Hayward 
built up depot. It is really surprising to find it takes two men 
to lift a 50-lb. case; it only shows our weakness. Weather still 
the same; force of wind at times about seventy to ninety miles 
an hour; really surprising how this can keep on so long. 

" Fehruary 2Y, Sunday. — Wind continued with fury the whole 
night. Expecting every minute to have the tent blown off us. 
Up 5 o'clock; found it so thick one could not get out of the tent. 
We are still very weak, but think we can do the twelve miles to 
our comrades in one long march. If only it would clear up for 
just one day we would not mind. This is the longest continuous 
blizzard I have ever been in. We have not had a travelling day 
for eleven days, and the amount of snow that has fallen is aston- 
ishing. Later. — Had a meal 10.30 and decided to get under way 
in spite of the wind and snow. Under way 12 o'clock. We have 
three weeks' food on sledge, about 160 lbs., and one week's dog 
food, 50 lbs. The whole weight, all told, about 600 lbs., and 
also taking an extra sledge to bring back Captain Mackintosh. 



294: CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

To our surprise we could not shift the sledges. After half an 
hour we got about ten yards. We turned the sledge up and 
scraped runners; it went a little better after. I am afraid our 
weakness is much more than we think. Hayward is in rather a 
bad way about his knees, which are giving him trouble and are 
very painful; we will give him a good massage when we camp. 
The dogs have lost all heart in pulling; they seem to think that 
going south again is no good to them ; they seem to just jog along, 
and one cannot do more. I don't suppose our pace is more than 
one-half or three-quarters of a mile per hour. The surface is 
rotten, snow up to one's knees, and what with wind and drift a 
very bad outlook. Lunched about 4.30. Carried on until 11.20, 
when we camped. It was very dark making our dinner, but soon 
got through the process. Then Eichards Bpent an hour or so 
in rubbing Hayward with methylated spirits, which did him a 
world of good. If he were to break up now I should not know 
what to do. Turned in about 1.30. It is now calm, but over- 
cast with light falling snow. 

" February 28, Monday. — Up at 6- o'clock ; can just see a 
little skyline. Under way at 9 o'clock. The reason of delay, 
had to mend finneskoe, which are in a very dilapidated condition. 
I got my feet badly frost-bitten yesterday. About 11 o'clock 
came on to snow, everything overcast. We ought to reach our 
poor boys in three or four hours, but Eate wills otherwise, as it 
came on again to blizzard force about 11.45. Camped at noon. 
I think the party must be within a very short distance, but we 
cannot go on as we might pass them, and as we have not got any 
position to go on except compass. Later. — Kept on blizzarding 
all afternoon and night. 

"February 29, Tuesday. — Up at 5 o'clock; still very thick. 
It cleared up a little to the south about 8 o'clock, when Richards 
sighted something black to the north of us, but could not see 
properly what it was. After looking round sighted camp to the 
south, so we got under way as soon as possible. Got up to the 
camp about 12.45, when Wild came out to meet us. We gave 
him a cheer, as we fully expected to find all down. He said he 





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a 

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"THE RUDDER WAS BENT OVER TO STARnO\RD AND SMASHED' 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 295 

had taken a little exercise every day; they had not any food 
left. The Skipper then came out of the tent, very weak and as 
much as he could do to walk. He said, ' I want to thank you 
for saving our lives.' I told Wild to go and give them a feed 
and not to eat too much at first in case of reaction, as I am going 
to get under way as soon as they have had a feed. So we had 
lunch, and the Skipper went ahead to get some exercise, and after 
an hour's digging out got everything ready for leaving. When 
we lifted Smith we found he was in a great hole which he had 
melted through. This party had been in one camp for twelve 
days. We got under way and picked the Skipper up; he had 
fallen down, too weak to walk. We put him on the sledge we had 
brought out, and we camped about 8. o'clock. I think we did 
about three miles, rather good with two men on the sledges, and 
Hayward in a very bad way. I don't think there has been a party, 
either north or south, in such straits, three men down and three 
of us very weak; but the dogs seem to have new life since we 
turned north. I think they realize they are homeward bound. I 
am glad we kept them, even when we were starving. I knew 
they would have to come in at the finish. We have now to look 
forward to southerly winds for help, which I think we shall get 
at this time of year. Let us hope the temperature will keep up, 
as our sleeping-bags are wet through and worn out, and all our 
clothes full of holes, and finneskoe in a dilapidated condition; 
in fact, one would not be out on a cold day in civilization with 
the rotten clothes we have on. Turned in 11 o'clock, wet through, 
but in a better frame of mind. Hope to try and reach the depot 
to-morrow, even if we have to march overtime. 

" March 1, Wednesday. — Turned out usual time ; a good south 
wind, but, worse luck, heavy drift. Set sail; put the Skipper 
on rear sledge. The temperature has gone down and it is very 
cold. Bluff in sight. We are making good progress, doing a 
good mileage before lunch. After lunch a little stronger wind. 
Hayward still hanging on to sledge; Skipper fell off twice. 
Reached depot 5.45. When camping found we had dropped our 
tent-poles, so Richards went back a little way and spotted them 



296 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

through the binoculars about half a mile off, and brought them 
back. Hayward and I were very cold by that time, the drift 
very bad. Moral: See everything properly secured. We soon 
had our tent up, cooked our dinner in the dark, and turned in 
about 10 o'clock. 

" March 2, Thursday. — Up as usual. Strong south-west wind 
with heavy drift. Took two weeks' provision from the depot. I 
think that will last us through, as there is another depot about 
fifty miles north from here; I am taking the outside course on 
account of the crevasses, and one cannot take too many chances 
with two men on sledges and one crippled. Under way about 10 
o'clock; lunched' noon in a heavy drift; took an hour to get the 
tents up, etc., the wind being so heavy. Eound sledges buried 
under snow after lunch, took some time to get under way. Wind 
and drift very heavy; set half -sail on the first sledge and under 
way about 3.30. The going is perfect, sometimes sledges overtak- 
ing us. Carried on until 8 o'clock, doing an excellent journey for 
the day; distance about eleven or twelve miles. Gives one a bit 
of heart to carry on like this ; only hope we can do this all the way. 
Had to cook our meals in the dark, but still we did not mind. 
Turned in about 11 o'clock, pleased with ourselves, although we 
were wet through with snow, as it got through all the holes in our 
clothes, and the sleeping-bags are worse than awful. 

"March 3, FridaAj.— J]^ the usual time. It has been blow- 
ing a raging blizzard all night. Eound to our disgust utterly 
impossible to carry on. Another few hours of agony in these 
rotten bags. Later. — Blizzard much heavier. Amused myself 
mending finneskoe and Burberrys, mitts and socks. Had the 
Primus while this operation was in force. Hoping for a fine 
day to-morrow. 

" March 4, Saturday.— Up 5.20. Still blizzarding, but have 
decided to get under way as we will have to try and travel through 
everything, as Hayward is getting worse, and one doesn't know 
who is the next. No mistake it is scurvy, and the only possible 
cure is fresh food. I sincerely hope the ship is in; if not we 
shall get over the hills by Castle Eock, which is rather difiicult 



LAYIl^G THE DEPOTS 297 

and will delay another couple of days. Smith is still cheerful; 
he has hardly moved for weeks and he has to have everything 
done for him. Got under way 9.35. It took some two hours 
to dig out dogs and sledges, as they were completely buried. It 
is the same every morning now. Set sail, going along pretty 
fair. Hayward gets on sledge now and again. Lunched as 
usual; sledges got buried again at lunch-time. It takes some 
time to camp now, and in this drift it is awful. In the afternoon 
wind eased a bit and drift went down. Found it very hard 
pulling with the third man on sledge, as Hayward has been on 
all the afternoon. Wind veered two points to south, so we had 
a fair wind. An hour before we camped Erebus and Terror, 
showing up, a welcome sight. Only hope wind will continue. 
Drift is worst thing to contend with, as it gets into our clothes, 
which are wet through now. Camped 8- o'clock. Cooked in the 
dark, and turned in in our wet sleeping-bags about 10 o'clock. 
Distance about eight or nine miles. 

"March 5, Sunday. — Turned out 6.15. Overslept a little; 
very tired after yesterday. Sun shining brightly, and no wind. 
It seemed strange last night, no flapping of tent in one's ears. 
About 8.30 came on to drift again. Under way 9.20, both sails 
set. Sledge going hard, especially in soft places. If Hayward 
had not broken down we should not feel the weight so much. 
Lunch 12.45. Under way at 3. Wind and drift very heavy. 
A good job it is blowing some, or else we should have to relay. 
All land obscured. Distance about ten or eleven miles, a very 
good performance. Camped 7.10 in the dark. Patients not in 
the best of trim. I hope to get in, bar accidents, in four days. 

"March 6, Monday.— Vnier yj&j 9.20. Picked up thirty- 
two mile depot 11 o'clock. Going with a fair wind in the fore- 
noon, which eased somewhat after lunch and so caused very heavy 
work in pulling. It seems to me we shall have to depot some 
one if the wind eases at all. Distance during day about eight 

miles. 

"March 7, Tuesday. — Under way 9 o'clock. Although we 
turn out at 5 it seems a long time to get under way. There is 



298 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

double as much work to do now with our invalids. This is the 
calmest day we have had for weeks. The sun is shining and all 
land in sight. It is very hard going. Had a little breeze about 
11 o'clock, set sail, but work still very, very heavy. Hayward 
and Skipper going on ahead with sticks, very slow pace, but it 
will buck them up and do them good. If one could only get some 
fresh food! About 11 o'clock decided to camp and overhaul 
sledges and depot all gear except what is actually required. 
Under way again at 2, but surface being so sticky did not make any 
difference. After a consultation the Skipper decided to stay be- 
hind in a tent with three weeks' provisions, whilst we pushed on 
with Smith and Hayward. It seems hard, only about thirty miles 
away, and yet cannot get any assistance. Our gear is absolutely 
rotten, no sleep last night, shivering all night in wet bags. I 
wonder what will be the outcome of it all after our struggle. 
Trust in Providence. Distance about three and a half miles. 

"March 8, Wednesday. — Under way 9.20. "Wished the 
Skipper good-bye; took Smith and Hayward on. Had a fair 
wind, going pretty good. Hope to arrive in Hut Point in four 
days. Lunched at ISTo. 2 depot. Distance about four and a half 
miles. Under way as usual after lunch; head wind, going very 
heavy. Carried on until 6.30. Distance about eight or nine 
miles. 

"■ March 9, Thursday. — Had a very bad night, cold intense. 
Temperature down to — 29° all night. At 4 a.m. Spencer-Smith 
called out that he was feeling queer. Wild spoke to him. Then 
at 5.45 Richards suddenly said, ' I think he has gone.' Poor 
Smith, for forty days in pain he had been dragged on the sledge, 
but never grumbled or complained. He had a strenuous time 
in his wet bag, and the jolting of the sledge on a very weak heart 
was not too good for him. Sometimes when we lifted him on the 
sledge he would nearly faint, but during the whole time he never 
complained. Wild looked after him from the start. We buried 
him in his bag at 9 o'clock at the following position : Ereb. 184° 
— Obs. Hill 149°. We made a cross of bamboos, and built a 
mound and cairn, with particulars. After that got under way 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 299 

witli Hayward on sledge. Eound going very hard, as we had a 
northerly wind in our faces, with a temperature below 20°. What 
with frost-bites, etc., we are all suffering. Even the dogs seem 
like giving in; they do not seem to take any interest in their 
work. We have been out much too long, and nothing ahead to 
cheer us up but a cold, cheerless hut. We did about two and a 
half miles in the forenoon, Hayward toddling ahead every time 
we had a spell. During lunch the wind veered to the south with 
drift, just right to set sail. We carried on with Hayward on 
sledge and camped in the dark about 8 o'clock. Turned in at 10, 
weary, worn, and sad. Hoping to reach depot to-morrow. 

" March 10, Friday. — Turned out as usual. Beam wind, 
going pretty fair, very cold. Came into very soft snow about 3 ; 
arrived at Safety Camp 5 o'clock. Got to edge of Ice Barrier j 
found passage over in a bay full of seals. Dogs got very excited ; 
had a job to keep them away. By the glasses it looked clear right 
to Cape Armitage, which is four and a half miles away. Arrived 
there 8 o'clock, very dark and bad light. Eound open water. 
Turned to climb slopes against a strong north-easterly breeze 
with drift. Eound a place about a mile away, but we were so 
done up that it took until 11.30 to get gear up. This slope was 
about 150 yds. up, and every three paces we had to stop and 
get breath. Eventually camped and turned in about 2 o'clock. 
I think this is the worst day I ever spent. What with the dis- 
appointment of not getting round the Point, and the long day 
and the thought of getting Hayward over the slopes, it is not 
very entertaining for sleep. 

" March 11, Saturday. — Up at 1 o'clock ; took binoculars and 
went over the slope to look around the Cape. To my surprise 
found the open water and pack at the Cape only extended for 
about a mile. Came down and gave the boys the good news. 
I think it would take another two hard days to get over the hills, 
and we are too weak to do much of that, as I am afraid of an- 
other collapsing. Eichards and Wild climbed up to look at the 
back of the bay and found the ice secure. Got under way 10.80, 
went round the Cape and found ice; very slushy, but continued 



300 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

on. No turning now; got into hard ice shortly after, eventually 
arriving at Hut Point about 3 o'clock. It seems strange after 
our adventures to arrive back at the old hut. This place has 
been standing since we built it in 1901, and has been the start- 
ing-point of a few expeditions since. When we were coming 
down the bay I could fancy the Discovery there when Scott ar- 
rived from his Furthest South in 1902, the ship decorated rain- 
bow fashion, and Lieutenant Armitage giving out the news that 
Captain Scott had got to 82° 17' S. We went wild that day. 
But now our home-coming is quite different. Hut half-full of 
snow through a window being left open and drift getting in ; but 
we soon got it shipshape and Hayward in. I had the fire going 
and plenty of vegetables on, as there was a fair supply of dried 
vegetables. Then after we had had a feed, Eichards and Wild 
went down the bay and killed a couple of seals. I gave a good 
menu of seal-meat at night, and we turned in about 11 o'clock, 
full — too full, in fact. As there is no news here of the ship, 
and we cannot see her, we surmise she has gone down with all 
hands. I cannot see there is any chance of her being afloat or 
she would be here. I don't know how the Skipper will take it. 

"March 12, Sunday. — Heard groans proceeding from the 
sleeping-bags all night; all hands suffering from over-eating. 
Hayward not very well. Turned out 8 o'clock. Good break- 
fast — porridge, seal, vegetables, and coffee ; more like a banquet 
to us. After breakfast Eichards and Wild killed a couple of 
seals whilst I made the hut a bit comfy. Hayward can hardly 
move. All of us in a very bad state, but we must keep up 
exercise. My ankles and knees badly swollen, gums prominent. 
Wild, very black around joints, and gums very black. Richards 
about the best off. After digging hut out I prepared food, 
which I think will keep the scurvy down. The dogs have lost 
their lassitude and are quite frisky, except Oscar, who is suffer- 
ing from over-feeding. After a strenuous day's work turned in 
10 o'clock. 

"March 13, Monday. — Turned out 7 o'clock. Carried on 
much the same as yesterday, bringing in seal-blubber and meat. 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 301 

Preparing for departure to-morrow; hope every one will be all 
right. Made new dog harness and prepared sledges. In after- 
noon cooked sufficient seal-meat for our journey out and back, 
and same for dogs. Turned in 10 o'clock, feeling much better. 

"March 14, Tuesday. — A beautiful day. Under way after 
lunch. One would think, looking at our party, that we were 
the most ragged lot one could meet in a day's march; all our 
clothes past mending, our faces as black as niggers' — a sort of 
crowd one would run away from. Going pretty good. As soon 
as we rounded Cape Armitage a dead head wind with a tempera- 
ture of — 18° Eahr., so we are not in for a pleasant time. Ar- 
rived at Safety Camp 6 o'clock, turned in 8.30, after getting 
everything ready. 

" March 15, Wednesday. — Under way as usual. Nice calm 
day. Had a very cold night, temperature going down to — 30° 
Fahr. Going along at a rattling good rate ; in spite of our swollen 
limbs we did about fifteen miles. Very cold when we camped; 
temperature — 20° Eahr. Turned in 9 o'clock. 

March 16, Thursday. — Up before the sun, 4.45 a.m. Had 
a very cold night, not much sleep. Under way early. Going 
good. Passed Smith's grave 10.45 a.m. and had lunch at depot. 
Saw Skipper's camp just after and, looking through glass found 
him outside tent, much to the joy of all hands, as we expected him 
to be down. Picked him up 4.15 p.m. Broke the news of Smith's 
death and no ship. I gave him the date of the lYth to look out 
for our returning, so he had a surprise. We struck his camp and 
went north for about a mile and camped. We gave the Skipper 
a banquet of seal, vegetables, and black-currant jam, the feed of 
his life. He seems in a bad way. I hope to get him in in three 
days, and I think fresh food will improve him. We turned in 
8 o'clock. Distance done during day sixteen miles. 

"March 17, Friday. — Up at 5 o'clock. Under way 8 a.m. 
Skipper feeling much better after feeding him up. Lunched 
a few yards past Smith's grave. Had a good afternoon, going 
fair. Distance about sixteen miles. Very cold night, tempera- 
ture — 30° Eahr. What with wet bags and clothes, rotten. 



302 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

" March 18, Saturday. — Turned out 5 o'clock. Had rather a 
cold night. Temperature — 29° Eahr. Surf ace very good. The 
Skipper walked for a little way, which did him good. Lunched 
as usual. Pace good. After lunch going good. Arrived at 
Safety Camp 4.10 p.m. To our delight found the sea-ice in the 
same condition and arrived at Hut Point at 1 o'clock. Found 
Hayward still about same. Set to, made a good dinner, and 
all hands seem in the best spirits. Now we have arrived and 
got the party in, it remains to themselves to get better. Plenty 
of exercise and fresh food ought to do miracles. We have been 
out 160 days, and done a distance of 1561 miles, a good record. 
I think the irony of fate was poor Smith going under a day 
before we got in. I think we shall all soon be well. Turned 
in 10.30 p.m. Before turning in Skipper shook us by the hand 
with great emotion, thanking us for saving his life." 

Eichards, summarizing the work of the parties, says that the 
journeys made between September 1 and March 18, a period of 
160 days, totalled 1561 miles. The main journey, from Hut 
Point to Mount Hope and return, was 830 miles. " The equip- 
ment," he adds, " was old at the commencement of the season, 
and this told severely at the later stages of the journey. Three 
Primus lamps gave out on the journeys, and the old tent brought 
back by one of the last parties showed rents several feet in length. 
This hampered the travelling in the long blizzards Einneskoe 
were also in pieces at the end, and time had frequently to be 
lost through repairs to clothing becoming imperative. This ac- 
count would not be complete without some mention of the unselfish 
service rendered by Wild to his two ill tent-mates. Erom the 
time he remained behind at the long blizzard till the death of 
Spencer-Smith he had two helpless men to attend to, and despite 
his own condition he was ever ready, night or day, to minister 
to their wants. This, in a temperature of — 30° Eahr. at times, 
was no light task. 

" Without the aid of four faithful friends, Oscar, Con, Gunner, 
and Towser, the party could never have arrived back. These 
dogs from November 5 accompanied the sledging parties, and, 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 303 

althougli the pace was often very slow, they adapted themselves 
well to it. Their endurance was fine, Eor three whole days at 
one time they had not a scrap of food, and this after a period 
on short rations. Though they were feeble towards the end of 
the trip, their condition usually was good, and those who returned 
with them will ever remember the remarkable service they ren- 
dered. 

" The first indication of anything wrong with the general 
health of the party occurred at about lat. 82° 30' S., when Spencer- 
Smith complained of stiffness in the legs and discolouration. 
He attributed this to holes in his windproof clothing. At lat. 
83° S., when he gave way, it was thought that the rest would do 
him good. About the end of January Captain Mackintosh showed 
very serious signs of lameness. At this time his party had been 
absent from Hut Point, and consequently from fresh food, about 
three months. 

" On the journey back Spencer-Smith gradually became weaker, 
and for some time before the end was in a very weak condition 
indeed. Captain Mackintosh, by great efforts, managed to keep 
his feet until the long blizzard was encountered. Here it was 
that Hayward was first found to be affected with the scurvy, his 
knees being stiff. In his case the disease took him off his feet 
very suddenly, apparently causing the muscles of his legs to con- 
tract till they could be straightened hardly more than a right 
angle. He had slight touches in the joints of the arms. In the 
cases of Joyce, Wild, and Eichards, joints became stiff and black 
in the rear, but general weakness was the worst symptom experi- 
enced. Captain Mackintosh's legs looked the worst in the party." 

The five men who were now at Hut Point found quickly that 
some of the winter months must be spent there. They had no 
news of the ship, and were justified in assuming that she had not 
returned to the Sound, since if she had some message would have 
been awaiting them at Hut Point, if not farther south. The 
sea-ice had broken and gone north within a mile of the point, and 
the party must wait until the new ice became firm as far as Cape 
Evans. Plenty of seal-meat was available, as well as dried vege- 



304 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

tables, and the fresh food improved the condition of the patients 
very rapidly. Eichards massaged the swollen joints and found 
that this treatment helped a good deal. Before the end of March 
Mackintosh and Hayward, the worst sufferers, were able to take 
exercise. By the second week of April Mackintosh was free of 
pain, though the backs of his legs were still discoloured. 

A tally of the stores at the hut showed that on a reasonable 
allowance the supply would last till the middle of June. Eich- 
ards and Wild killed many seals, so that there was no scarcity 
of meat and blubber. A few penguins were also secured. The 
sole means of cooking food and heating the hut was an improvised 
stove of brick, covered with two sheets of iron. This had been 
used by the former expedition. The stove emitted dense smoke 
and often made the hut very uncomfortable, while at the same time 
it covered the men and all their gear with clinging and pene- 
trating soot. Cleanliness was out of the question, and this in- 
creased the desire of the men to get across to Cape Evans. Dur- 
ing April the sea froze in calm weather, but winds took the ice 
out again. On April 23 Joyce walked four miles to the north, 
partly on young ice two inches thick, and he thought then that the 
party might be able to reach Cape Evans within a few days. 
But a prolonged blizzard took the ice out right up to the Point 
so that the open water extended at the end of April right up to 
the foot of Vinie's Hill. Then came a spell of calm weather, 
and during the first week of May the sea-ice formed rapidly. The 
men made several short trips over it to the north. The sun had 
disappeared below the horizon in the middle of April, and would 
not appear again for over four months. 

The disaster that followed is described by both Eichards and 
Joyce. " And now a most regrettable incident occurred," wrote 
Eichards. " On the morning of May 8, before breakfast, Captain 
Mackintosh asked Joyce what he thought of his going to Cape 
Evans with Hayward. Captain Mackintosh considered the ice 
quite safe, and the fine morning no doubt tempted him to exchange 
the quarters at the hut for the greater comfort and better food 
at Cape Evans." (Mackintosh naturally would be anxious to 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 305 

know if the men at Cape Evans were well and had any news of 
the ship.) " He was strongly urged at the time not to take the 
risk, as it was pointed out that the ice, although iirm, was very 
young, and that a blizzard was almost sure to take part of it out 
to sea." 

However, at about 1 p.m., with the weather apparently changing 
for the worse. Mackintosh and Hayward left, after promising to 
turn back if the weather grew worse. The last sight the watch- 
ing party on the hill gained of them was when they were about a 
mile away, close to the shore, but apparently making straight for 
Cape Evans. At 3 p.m. a moderate blizzard was raging, which 
later increased in fury, and the party in the hut had many mis- 
givings for the safety of the absent men. 

On May 10, the first day possible, the three men left behind 
walked over new ice to the north to try and discover some trace 
as to the fate of the others. The footmarks were seen clearly 
enough raised up on the ice, and the track was followed for about 
two miles in a direction leading to Cape Evans. Here they ended 
abruptly, and in the dim light a wide stretch of water, very lightly 
covered with ice, was seen as far as the eye could reach. It was 
at once evident that part of the ice over which they had travelled 
had gone out to sea. 

The whole party had intended, if the weather had held good, 
to have attempted the passage across with the full moon about 
May 16. On the date on which Mackintosh and Hayward left 
it was impossible that a sledge should travel the distance over 
the sea-ice owing to the sticky nature of the surface. Hence their 
decision to go alone and leave the others to follow with the sledge 
and equipment when the surface should improve. That they had 
actually been lost was learned only on July 15, on which date the 
party from Hut Point arrived at Cape Evans. 

The entry in Joyce's diary shows that he had very strong fore- 
bodings of disaster when Mackintosh and Hayward left. He 
warned them not to go, as the ice was still thin and the weather 
was uncertain. Mackintosh seems to have believed that he and 
Hayward, travelling light, could get across to Cape Evans quickly 



306 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

before the weather broke, and if the blizzard had come two or 
three hours later they probably would have been safe. The two 
men carried no sleeping-bags and only a small meal of chocolate 
and seal-meat. 

The weather during June was persistently bad. No move had 
been possible on May 16, the sea-ice being out, and Joyce decided 
to wait until the next full moon. When this came the weather 
was boisterous, and so it was not until the full moon of July 
that the journey to Cape Evans was made. During June and 
July seals got very scarce, and the supply of blubber ran short. 
Meals consisted of little but seal-meat and porridge. The small 
stock of salt was exhausted, but the men procured two and a 
half pounds by boiling down snow taken from the bottom layer 
next to the sea-ice. The dogs recovered condition rapidly and 
did some hunting on their own account among the seals. 

The party started for Cape Evans on July 15. They had 
expected to take advantage of the full moon, but by a strange 
chance they had chosen the period of an eclipse, and the moon 
was shadowed most of the time they were crossing the sea-ice. 
The ice was firm, and the three men reached Cape Evans without 
difficulty. They found Stevens, Cope, G-aze, and Jack at the 
Cape Evans Hut, and learned that nothing had been seen of 
Captain Mackintosh and Hayward. The conclusion that these 
men had perished was accepted reluctantly. The party at the 
base consisted now of Stevens, Cope, Joyce, Richards, Gaze, Wild, 
and Jack. 

The men settled down now to wait for relief. When oppor- 
tunity offered Joyce led search parties to look for the bodies 
or any trace of the missing men, and he subsequently handed 
me the following report: 

" I beg to report that the following steps were taken to try 
and discover the bodies of Captain Mackintosh and Mr. Hay- 
ward. After our party's return to the hut at Cape Evans, July 
15, 1916, it was learned that Captain Mackintosh and Mr. Hay- 



LAYING THE DEPOTS 307 

ward had not arrived; and, being aware of the conditions under 
which they were last seen, all the members of the wintering party 
were absolutely convinced that these two men were totally lost 
and dead — that they could not have lived for more than a few 
hours at the outside in the blizzard that they had encountered, 
they being entirely unprovided with equipment of any sort. 

" There was the barest chance that after the return of the 
sun some trace of their bodies might be found, so during the 
spring — that is, August and September, 1916, and in the summer, 
December and January, 1916-17 — the following searches were 
carried out: 

" (1) Wild and I thoroughly searched Inaccessible Island at 
the end of August, 1916. 

" (2) Various parties in September searched along the shore 
to the vicinity of Turk's Head. 

" (3) In company with Messrs. Wild and Gaze I started from 
Hut Point, December 31, 1916, at 8 a.m., and a course was 
steered inshore as close as possible to the cliffs in order to search 
for any possible means of ascent. At a distance of half a mile 
from Hut Point we passed a snow slope which I had already 
ascended in June, 1916 ; three and a half miles farther on was 
another snow-slope which ended in Blue Ice Glacier slope, which 
we found impossible to climb, snow-slope being formed by heavy 
winter snowfall. These were the only two places accessible. Dis- 
tance on this day, 10 miles 1710 yds. covered. On January 1 
search was continued round the south side of Glacier Tongue from 
the base towards the seaward end. There was much heavy pres- 
sure; it was impossible to reach the summit owing to the wide 
crack. Distance covered 4 miles 100 yds. On January 2 thick 
weather caused party to lay up. On 3rd, glacier was further ex- 
amined, and several slopes formed by snow led to top of glacier, 
but crevasses between slope and the Tongue prevented crossing. 
The party then proceeded round the Tongue to Tent Island, which 
was also searched, a complete tour of the island being made. It 



308 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

was decided to make for Cape Evans, as thick weather was 
approaching. We arrived at 8 p.m. Distance 8 miles 490 yds. 

" I remain, etc., 

" Eenest E. Joyce." 
To Sir Ernest Shackleton, C.V.O., 
Commander, I.T.A.E. 

In September Eichards was forced to lay up at the hut owing 
to a strained heart, due presumably to stress of work on the sledg- 
ing journeys. Early in October a party consisting of Joyce, 
Gaze, and Wild spent several days at Cape Eoyds, where they 
skinned specimens. They sledged stores back to Cape Evans in 
case it should be found necessary to remain there over another 
winter. In September, Joyce, Gaze, and Wild went out to Spen- 
cer-Smith's grave with a wooden cross, which they erected firmly. 
Eelief arrived on January 10, 1917, but it is necessary now to 
turn back to the events of May, 1915, when the Aurora was driven 
from her moorings off Cape Evans. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE AURORA'S DRIFT 

Afteb Mackintosh left the Aurora on January 25, 1915, Sten- 
house kept the ship with difficulty off Tent Island. The ice- 
anchors would not hold, owing to the continual breaking away 
of the pack, and he found it necessary much of the time to 
steam slow ahead against the floes. The third sledging party, 
under Cope, left the ship on the afternoon of the 31st, with the 
motor-tractor towing two sledges, and disappeared towards Hut 
Point. Cope's party returned to the ship on February 2, and left 
again on February 5, after a delay caused by the loose condition 
of the ice. Two days later, after more trouble with drifting 
floes, Stenhouse proceeded to Cape Evans, where he took a line 
of soundings for the winter quarters. During the next month 
the Aurora occupied various positions in the neighbourhood of 
Cape Evans. No secure moorings were available. The ship had 
to keep clear of threatening floes, dodge " growlers " and drifting 
bergs, and find shelter from the blizzards. A sudden shift of 
wind on February 24, when the ship was sheltering in the lee of 
Glacier Tongue, caused her to be jammed hard against the low ice 
off the glacier, but no damage was done. Early in March Sten- 
house sent moorings ashore at Cape Evans, and on March 11 he 
proceeded to Hut Point, where he dropped anchor in Discovery 
Bay. Here he landed stores, amounting to about two months' 
full rations for twelve men, and embarked Spencer-Smith, Stevens, 
Hooke, Eichards, Ninnis, and Gaze, with two dogs. He returned 
to Cape Evans that evening. 

" We had a bad time when we were ' sculling ' about the Sound, 
first endeavouring to make Hut Point to land provisions, and 

309 



310 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

then looking for winter quarters in tte neighbourhood of Glacier 
Tongue," wrote Stenhouse afterwards. " The ice kept breaking 
away in small floes, and we were apparently no nearer to anywhere 
than when the sledges left; we were frustrated in every move. 
The ship broke away from the fast ice in blizzards, and then we 
went dodging about the Sound from the Eoss Island side to the 
western pack, avoiding and clearing floes and growlers in heavy 
drift when we could see nothing, our compasses unreliable and 
the -ship short-handed. In that homeless time I kept watch and 
watch with the Second Officer, and was hard pressed to know what 
to do. Was ever ship in such predicament? To the northward 
of Cape Koyds was taboo, as also was the coast south of Glacier 
Tongue. In a small stretch of ice-bound coast we had to find 
winter quarters. The ice lingered on, and all this time we could 
find nowhere to drop anchor, but had to keep steam handy for 
emergencies. Once I tried the North Bay of Cape Evans, as it 
apparently was the only ice-free spot. I called all hands, and 
making up a boat's crew with one of the firemen sent the whaler 
away with the Second Officer in charge to Sound. ISTo sooner 
had the boat left ship than the wind freshened from the northward, 
and large bergs and growlers, setting into the bay, made the 
place untenable. The anchorage I eventually selected seemed the 
best available — and here we are drifting, with all plans upset, 
when we ought to be lying in winter quarters." 

A heavy gale came up on March 12, and the Aurora, then 
moored off Cape Evans, dragged her anchor and drifted out of 
the bay. She went northward past Cape Barne and Cape Eoyds 
in a driving mist, with a heavy storm-sea running. This gale 
was a particularly heavy one. The ship and gear were covered 
with ice, owing to the freezing of spray, and Stenhouse had 
anxious hours amid the heavy, ice-encumbered waters before the 
gale moderated. The young ice, which was continually forming 
in the very low temperature, helped to reduce the sea as soon 
as the gale moderated, and the Aurora got back to Cape Evans 
on the evening of the 13th. Ice was forming in the bay, and on 
the morning of the 14th Stenhouse took the ship into position 



THE AURORA'S DKIFT 311 

for ■winter moorings. He got three steel hawsers out and made 
fast to the shore-anchors. These hawsers were hove tight, and 
the Aurora rested then, with her stem to the shore, in seven fathoms. 
Two more wires were taken ashore the next day. Young ice was 
forming around the ship, and under the influence of wind and 
tide this ice began early to put severe strains upon the moorings. 
Stenhouse had the fires drawn and the boiler blown down on the 
20th, and the engineer reported at that time that the bunkers 
contained still 118 tons of coal. 

The ice broke away between Cape Evans and Cape Bame 
on the 23rd, and pressure around the ship shattered the bay- 
ice and placed heavy strains on the stem moorings. The young 
ice, about four inches thick, went out eventually and left a lead 
along the shore. The ship had set in towards the shore, owing to 
the pressure, and the stem was now in four-and-a-half fathoms. 
Stenhouse tightened the moorings and ran out an extra wire to 
the shore-anchor. The nature of the ice movements is illustrated 
by a few extracts from the log: 

" March 27, 5 p.m. — Ice broke away from shore and started 
to go out. 8 p.m. — Light southerly airs; fine; ice setting out 
to north-west; heavy pressure of ice on starboard side and great 
strain on moorings. 10 p.m. — Ice clear of ship. 

"■ March 28. — New ice forming over bay. 3 a.m. — Ice which 
went out last watch set in towards bay. 5 a.m. — Ice coming 
in and overriding newly formed bay-ice; heavy pressure on port 
side of ship ; wires frozen into ice. 8 a.m. — Calm and fine ; new 
ice setting out of bay. 5 p.m. — New ice formed since morning 
cleared from bay except area on port side of ship and stretching 
abeam and ahead for about 200 yds., which is held by bights of 
wire ; new ice forming. 

"March 29, 1.30 p.m. — New ice going out. 2 p.m. — Hands 
on floe on port quarter clearing wires; stem in three fathoms; 
hauled wires tight, bringing stern more to eastward and in four 
fathoms ; hove in about one fathom of starboard cable, which had 
dragged during recent pressure. 

"April 10, 1.30 p.m. — Ice breaking from shore under influ- 



312 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

ence of south-east wind. Two starboard quarter wires parted; 
all bights of stern wires frozen in ice ; chain taking weight. 2 p.m. 
— Ice opened, leaving ice in bay in line from Cape to landward 
of glacier. 8 p.m. — Eresh wind ; ship holding ice in bay ; ice in 
Sound wind-driven to north-west. 

" April 17, 1 a.m. — Pressure increased and wind shifted to 
north-west. Ice continued to override and press into shore until 
5 o'clock; during this time pressure into bay was very heavy; 
movement of ice in straits causing noise like heavy surf. Ship 
took ground gently at rudder-post during pressure; bottom under 
stern shallows very quickly. 10 p.m. — Ice moving out of bay 
to westward; heavy strain on after moorings and cables, which 
are cutting the floe." 

Stenhouse continued to nurse his moorings against the onslaughts 
of the ice during the rest of April and the early days of May. 
The break-away from the shore came suddenly and unexpectedly 
on the evening of May 6 : 

" May 6, 1915. — Fine morning with light breezes from east- 
south-east. . . . 3.30 p.m. — Ice nearly finished. Sent hands 
ashore for sledge-load. 4 p.m. — Wind freshening with blizzardy 
appearance of sky. 8 p.m. — . . . Heavy strain on after-moor- 
ings. 9.45 p.m. — The ice parted from the shore; all moorings 
parted. Most fascinating to listen to waves and chain breaking. 
In the thick haze I saw the ice astern breaking up and the shore 
receding. I called all hands and clapped relieving tackles (4-in. 
Manilla luff tackles) on to the cables on the fore part of the wind- 
lass. The bos'n had rushed along with his hurricane lamp, and 
shouted, ' She's away wi' it ! ' He is a good fellow and very 
conscientious. I ordered steam on main engines, and the engine- 
room staff, with Hooke and Ninnis, turned to. Grady, fireman, 
was laid up with broken rib. As the ship, in the solid floe, set 
to the north-west, the cables rattled and tore at the hawse-pipes ; 
luckily the anchors, lying as they were on a strip-sloping bottom, 
came away easily, without damage to windlass or hawse-pipes. 
Slowly as we disappeared into Sound, the light in the hut died 
away. At 11.30 p.m. the ice around us started to break up, the 



THE AURORA'S DEIFT 313 

floes playing tattoo on the ship's sides. We were out in the 
Sound and catching the full force of the wind. The moon broke 
through the clouds after midnight and showed us the pack, stretch- 
ing continuously to northward, and ahout one mile to the south. 
As the pack from the southward came up and closed in on the 
ship, the swell lessened and the banging of floes alongside eased 
a little. 

" May 1, 8 a.m. — Wind east-south-east. Moderate gale with 
thick drift. The ice around ship is packing up and forming 
ridges about two feet high. The ship is lying with head to the 
eastward, Cape Bird showing to north-east. When steam is raised 
I have hopes of getting back to the fast ice near the Glacier 
Tongue. Since we have been in winter quarters the ice has formed 
and, held by the islands and land at Cape Evans, has remained 
north of the Tongue. If we can return we should be able now 
to moor to the fast ice. The engineers are having great diffi- 
culty with the sea connections which are frozen. The main bow- 
down cock, from which the boiler is ' run up,' has been tapped and 
a screw plug put into it to allow of a hot iron rod being inserted 
to thaw out the ice between the cock and the ship's side — about 
two feet of hard ice. 4.30 p.m. — The hot iron has been success- 
ful. DonoUy (2nd Engineer) had the pleasure of stopping the 
first spurt of water through the pipe ; he got it in the eye. Eires 
were lit in furnaces, and water commenced to blow in the boiler — 
the first blow in our defence against the terrific forces of Nature 
in the Antarctic. 8 p.m. — The gale has freshened, accompanied 
by thick drift." 

The Aurora drifted helplessly throughout May 7. On the 
morning of May 8 the weather cleared a little and the Western 
Mountains became indistinctly visible. Cape Bird could also be 
seen. The ship was moving northwards with the ice. The day- 
light was no more than a short twilight of about two hours' dura- 
tion. The boiler was being filled with ice, which had to be lifted 
aboard, broken up, passed through a small porthole to a man inside, 
and then carried to the manhole on top of the boiler. Stenhouse 
had the wireless aerial rigged during the afternoon, and at 5 p.m. 



314 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

was informed that the watering of the boiler was complete. The 
wind freshened to a moderate southerly gale, with thick drift, in 
the night, and this gale continued during the following day, the 
9th. The engineer reported at noon that he had 40-lb. pressure 
in the boiler and was commencing the thawing of the auxiliary 
sea-connection pump by means of a steam-pipe. 

" Cape Bird is the only land visible, bearing north-east true 
about eight miles distant," wrote Stenhouse on the afternoon of 
the 9th. " So this is the end of our attempt to winter in Mc- 
Murdo Sound. Hard luck after four months' buffeting, for the 
last seven weeks of which we nursed our moorings. Our present 
situation calls for increasing vigilance. It is five weeks to the 
middle of winter. There is no sun, the light is little and uncertain, 
and we may expect many blizzards. We have no immediate 
water-supply, as only a small quantity of fresh ice was aboard 
when we broke drift. 

" The Aurora is fast in the pack and drifting God knows where. 
Well, there are prospects of a most interesting winter drift. We 
are all in good health, except Grady, whose rib is mending rapidly ; 
we have good spirits and we will get through. But what of the 
poor beggars at Cape Evans, and the Southern Party? It is a 
dismal prospect for them. There are suflScient provisions at Cape 
Evans, Hut Point, and, I suppose, Cape Eoyds, but we have the 
remaining Burberrys, clothing, etc., for next year's sledging still 
on board. I see little prospect of getting back to Cape Evans or 
anywhere in the Sound. We are short of coal and held firmly in 
the ice. I hope she drifts quickly to the north-east. Then we 
can endeavour to push through the pack and make for New 
Zealand, coal and return to the Barrier eastward of Cape Crozier. 
This could be done, I think, in the early spring, September. We 
must get back to aid the depot-laying next season." 

A violent blizzard raged on May 10 and 11. " I never remem- 
ber such wind-force," said Stenhouse. " It was difficult to get 
along the deck." The weather moderated on the 12th, and a 
survey of the ship's position was possible. " We are lying in a 
field of ice with our anchors and seventy-five fathoms of cable 



THE AURORA'S DEIFT 315 

on each hanging at the bows. The after-moorings -were frozen 
into the ice astern of us at Cape Evans. Previous to the date 
of our leaving our winter berth four small wires had parted. 
When we broke away the chain two of the heavy (i-in.) wires 
parted close to shore; the other wire went at the butts. The 
chain and two wires are still fast in the ice and will have to be 
dug out. This morning we cleared the ice around the cables, but 
had to abandon the heaving-in, as the steam froze in the return 
pipes from the windlass exhaust, and the joints had to be broken 
and the pipe thawed out. Hooke was ' listening in ' from 8.30 
p.m. to 12.30 a.m. for the Maequarie Island wireless station (1340 
miles away) or the BlufiF (ISTew Zealand) station (1860 miles 
away), but had no luck." 

The anchors were hove in by dint of much effort on the 13th 
and 14th, ice forming on the cable as it was hoisted through a hole 
cut in the floe. Both anchors had broken, so the Aurora had now 
one small kedge-anchor left aboard. The ship's position on May 
14 was approximately forty-five miles north, thirty-four west of 
Cape Evans. " In one week we have drifted forty-five miles 
(geographical). Most of this distance was covered during the 
first two days of the drift. We appear to be nearly stationary. 
What movement there is in the ice seems to be to the north- 
west towards the ice-bound coast. Hands who were after penguins 
yesterday reported much noise in the ice about one mile from 
the ship. I hope the floe around the ship is large enough to 
take its own pressure. We cannot expect much pressure from 
the south, as McMurdo Sound should soon be frozen over and 
the ice holding. ISTorth-east winds would drive the pack in from 
the Eoss Sea. I hope for the best. Plans for future develop- 
ment are ready, but probably will be checkmated again. . . . 
I took the anchors aboard. They are of no further use as sepa- 
rate anchors, but they ornament the forecastle head, so we put 
them in their places. . . . The supply of fresh water is a problem. 
The engineer turned steam from the boiler into the main water- 
tank (starboard) through a pipe leading from the main winch 
pipe to the tank top. The steam condenses before reaching the 



316 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

tant. I hope freezing does not burst the tank. A large tabular 
iceberg, calved from the Barrier, is silhouetted against the twi- 
light glow in the sky about ten miles away. The sight of millions 
of tons of fresh ice is most tantalizing. It would be a week's 
journey to the berg and back over pack and pressure, and probably 
we could bring enough ice to last two days." 

The record of the early months of the Aurora's long drift in 
the Eoss Sea is not eventful. The galley condenser was rigged, 
but the supply of fresh water remained a problem. The men 
collected fresh fallen snow when possible and hoped to get within 
reach of fresh ice. Hooke and Ninnis worked hard at the wire- 
less plant with the object of getting into touch with Macquarie 
Island, and possibly sending news of the ship's movements to 
Cape Evans. They got the wireless motor running and made many 
adjustments of the instruments and aerials, but their efforts were 
not successful. Emperor penguins approached the ship occa- 
sionally, and the birds were captured whenever possible for the 
fresh meat they afforded. The Aurora was quite helpless in the 
grip of the ice, and after the engine-room bilges had been thawed 
and pumped out the boilers were blown down. The pressure 
had been raised to sixty pounds, but there was no chance of moving 
the ship, and the supply of coal was limited. The story of the 
Aurora's drift during long months can be told briefly by means 
of extracts from Stenhouse's log: 

" May 21. — Early this morning there appeared to be move- 
ments in the ice. The grating and grinding noise makes one 
feel the unimportance of man in circumstances like ours. Twi- 
light towards noon showed several narrow open leads about two 
cables from ship and in all directions. Unable to get bearing, 
but imagine that there is little or no alteration in ship's position, 
as ship's head is same, and Western Mountains appear the same. 
. . . Hope all is well at Cape Evans and that the other parties have 
returned safely. Wish we could relieve their anxiety. 

" May 22. — Obtained good bearings of Beaufort Island, Cape 
Eoss, and Dunlop Island, which put the ship in a position eighteen 
miles south 75° east (true) from Cape Eoss. Since the 14th, 



THE AUBOBA'8 DEIFT 317 

when reliable bearings were last obtained, we have drifted north- 
west by north seven miles. 

" May 24. — Blizzard from south-south-east continued until 9 
p.m., when it moderated, and at 11.45 p.m. wind shifted to north- 
west, light, with snow. Quite a lot of havoc has been caused 
during this blow, and the ship has made much northing. In the 
morning the crack south of the ship opened to about three feet. 
At 2 p.m. felt heavy shock and the ship heeled to port about 
70°. Found ice had cracked from port gangway to north-west, 
and parted from ship from gangway along to stem. Crack ex- 
tended from stern to south-east. 7.35 p.m. — Ice cracked from 
port fore chains, in line parallel to previous crack. The ice 
broke again between the cracks and drifted to north-west for 
about ten yards. The ice to southward then commenced to break 
up, causing heavy strain on ship, and setting apparently north 
in large broken fields. Ship badly jammed in. 9.15 p.m. — Ice 
closed in again around ship. Two heavy wind-squalls with a short 
interval between followed by cessation of wind. We are in a 
labyrinth of large rectangular floes (some with their points press- 
ing heavily against ship) and high pressure-ridges. 

" May 25. — In middle watch felt pressure occasionally. Twi- 
light showed a scene of chaos all around; one floe about three 
feet in thickness had upended, driven under ship on port quarter. 
As far as can be seen there are heavy blocks of ice screwed up on 
end, and the scene is like a graveyard. I think swell must have 
come up under ice from seaward (north-east), McMurdo Sound, 
and broken the ice which afterwards started to move under the 
influence of the blizzard. Hardly think swell came from the 
Sound, as the cracks were wending from north-west to south- 
east, and also as the Sound should be getting icebound by now. 
If swell came from north-east then there is open water not far 
away. I should like to know. I believe the Boss Sea is rarely 
entirely ice covered. Have bright moonlight now, which accen- 
tuates everything — the beauty and loneliness of our surround- 
ings, and uselessness of ourselves, while in this prison: so near 
to Cape Evans and yet we might as well be anywhere as here. 



318 CEO'SSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Have made our sledging-ration scales, and crew are busy making 
harness and getting sledging equipment ready for emergencies. 
Temperature — 30° Eahr. 

" May 26. — If the ship is nipped in the ice, the ship's com- 
pany (eighteen hands) will take to four sledges with one month's 
rations and make for nearest land. Six men and one sledge 
will endeavour to make Cape Evans via the Western land, Butler 
Point, Hut Point, etc. The remaining twelve will come along 
with all possible speed, but no forced marches, killing and depot- 
ing penguins and seals for emergency retreats. If the ship re- 
mains here and makes no further drift to the north, towards 
latter end of July light will be making. The sun returns August 
23. The sea-ice should be fairly safe, and a party of three, with 
one month's rations, will proceed to Cape Evans. If the ice 
sets north and takes the ship clear of land, we will proceed to 
ISTew Zealand, bunker, get extra officer and four volunteers, pro- 
visions, etc., push south with all speed to the Barrier, put party 
on to the Barrier, about two miles east of Cape Crozier, and 
land all necessary stores and requirements. The ship will stand 
off until able to reach Cape Evans. If necessary, party will 
depot all stores possible at Comer Camp and go on to Cape 
Evans. If worst has happened my party will lay out the depot 
at the Beardmore for Shackleton. If the ship is released from 
the ice after September we must endeavour to reach Cape Evans 
before going north to bunker. We have not enough coal to hang 
about the Sound for many days. 

" May 28. — By the position obtained by meridiaji altitude of 
stars and bearing of Mount Melbourne, we have drifted thirty-six 
miles north-east from last bearings taken on 23rd inst. The most 
of this must have been during the blizzard of the 24th. Mount 
Melbourne is one hundred and eleven miles due north of us, and 
there is some doubt in my mind as to whether the peak which 
we can see is this mountain. There may be a mirage. ... In 
the evening had the football out on the ice by the light of a beau- 
tiful moon. The exercise and break from routine are a splendid 
tonic. Ice-noises sent all hands on board. 



THE AURORA'S DKIFT 319 

" June 1. — Thick, hazy weather. In the afternoon a black 
streak appeared in the ice about a cable's length to the west- 
ward and stretching north and south. 8 p.m. — The black line 
widened and showed long lane of open water. Apparently we 
are fast in a floe which has broken from the main field. With 
thick weather we are uncertain of our position and drift. It 
will be interesting to find out what this crack in the ice signifies. 
I am convinced that there is open water, not far distant, in the 
Eoss Sea. . . . To-night Hooke is trying to call up Cape Evans. 
If the people at the hut have rigged the set which was left there, 
they win hear ' AU well ' from the Aurora. 1 hope they have. 
[The messages were not received.] 

"June 8.— Made our latitude 75° 59' S. by altitude of Sirius. 
This is a very monotonous life, but all hands appear to be happy 
and contented. Eind that we are not too well off for meals and 
will have to cut rations a little. Grady is taking exercise now 
and should soon be well again. He seems very anxious to get 
to work again, and is a good man. No wireless call to-night, 
as there is a temporary breakdown — condenser jar broken. 
There is a very faint display of aurora in northern sky. It comes 
and goes almost imperceptibly, a most fascinating sight. The 
temperature is — 20° Eahr. ; 52° of frost is much too cold to 
allow one to stand for long. 

" June 11. — Walked over to a very high pressure-ridge about 
a quarter of a mile north-north-west of the ship. In the dim 
light walking over the ice is far from being monotonous, as it 
is almost impossible to see obstacles, such as small, snowed-up 
ridges, which makes us wary and cautious. A dip in the sea 
would be the grand finale, but there is little risk of this as the 
water freezes as soon as a lane opens in the ice. The pressure- 
ridge is about fifteen to twenty feet high for several hundred 
feet, and the ice all about it is bent up in a most extraordinary 
manner. At 9 p.m. Hooke called Cape Evans, 'All well — 
Aurora/ etc. ; 10 p.m., weather reports for 8 p.m. sent to Well- 
ington, New Zealand, and Melbourne, via Macquarie Island. 
[The dispatch of messages from the Aurora was continued, but 



320 CEOSSIN-G THE SOUTH POLE 

it was learned afterwards that none of them had been received 
by any station.] 

" June 13. — The temperature in the chart-room ranges from 
zero to a little above freezing-point. This is very disturbing 
factor in rates of the chronometers (five in number, 3 G.M.T. 
and 2 Sid., T.), which are kept in cases in a padded box^ each 
case covered by a piece of blanket, and the box covered by a 
heavy coat. In any enclosed place, where people pass their time, 
the niches and places where no heat penetrates are covered with 
frozen breath. There will be a big thaw-out when the temperature 
rises. 

" June 14. — Mount Melbourne is bearing north 14° west 
(true). Our approximate position is forty miles east-north-east 
of l^ordenskjold Ice Tongue. At 9 p.m. Hooke called Cape 
Evans and sent weather reports to Wellington and Melbourne 
via Macquarie Island. Hooke and Ninnis on several evenings 
at about 11 o'clock have heard what happened to be faint mes- 
sages, but unreadable. He sent word to Macquarie Island of this 
in hopes that they would hear and increase the power. 

" June 20. — During this last blow with its accompanying 
drift-snow there has been much leakage of current from the aerial 
during the sending of reports. This is apparently due to induc- 
tion caused by the snow accumulating on the insulator aloft, and 
thus rendering them useless, and probably to increased inductive 
force of the current in a body of snowdrift. Hooke appears 
to be somewhat downhearted over it, and, after discussing the 
matter, gave me a written report on the non-success (up to the 
present time) of his endeavours to establish communication. He 
thinks that the proximity of the Magnetic Pole and Aurora Aus- 
tralis might affect things. The radiation is good and sufficient 
for normal conditions. His suggestion to lead the down lead 
wires out to the ahead and astern would increase scope, but I 
cannot countenance it owing to unsettled state of ice and our too 
lofty poles. 

" June 21. — Blowing gale from south-west throughout day, 
but for short spell of westerly breeze about 5 p.m. Light drift 



THE AURORA'S DEIFT 321 

at frequent intervals, very hazy, and consequently no land in 
sight during short twilight. Very hard up for mitts and cloth- 
ing. What little we have on board I have put to one side for 
the people at the hut. Have given Thompson instructions to 
turn crew to making pair mitts and helmet out of Jaeger fleece 
for all hands forward. With strict economy we should make 
things spin out; cannot help worrying over our people at the 
hut. Although worrying does no good, one cannot do otherwise 
in this present important state. 11 p.m. — Wind howling and 
whistling through rigging. Outside, in glare of moon, flying drift 
and expanse of ice-field. Desolation! 

" June 22. — To-day the sun has reached the limit of his 
northern declination and now he will start to come south. Ob- 
served this day as holiday, and in the evening had hands aft 
to drink to the health of the King and the Expedition. All 
hands are happy, but miss the others at Cape Evans. I pray 
to God we may soon be clear of this prison and in a position to 
help them. We can live now for sunlight and activity. 

"July 1.— The 1st of July! Thank God, The days pass 
quickly. Through all my waking hours one long thought of the 
people at Cape Evans, but one must appear to be happy and take 
interest in the small happenings of shipboard. 

" July 3, — Eather hazy with very little light. Moderate west- 
north-west to south-west winds until noon, when wind veered 
to south and freshened. No apparent change in ship's position; 
the berg is on the same bearing (1 point on the port quarter) 
and apparently the same distance ofF. Mount Melbourne was 
hidden behind a bank of clouds. This is our only landmark now, 
as Eranklin Island is towered in perpetual gloom. Although 
we have had the berg in sight during all the time of our drift 
from the entrance to McMurdo Sound, we have not yet seen it 
in a favourable light, and, were it not for its movement, we 
might mistake it for a tabular island. It will be interesting to 
view our companion in the returning light — unless we are too 
close to it! 

" July 5. — Dull grey day (during twilight) with light, variable, 



322 OKOSSIN'G THE SOUTH POLE 

westerly breezes. All around hangs a heavy curtain of haze, 
and, although very light snow is falling, overhead is black and 
clear with stars shining. As soon as the faint noon light fades 
away the heavy, low haze intensifies the darkness and makes one 
thankful that one has a good firm ' berth ' in the ice. I don't 
care to contemplate the scene, if the ice should break up at the 
present time. 

" July 6. — Last night I thought I saw open water in the shape 
of a long black lane to the southward of the ship and extending 
in an easterly and westerly direction, but owing to the haze and 
light snow I could not be sure; this morning the lane was dis- 
tinctly visible and appeared to be two or three hundred yards wide 
and two miles long. ... At 6 p.m. loud pressure-noises would 
be heard from the direction of the open lane and continued through- 
out the night. Shortly after 8 o'clock the grinding and hissing 
spread to our starboard bow (west-south-west), and the vibration 
caused by the pressure could be felt intermittently on board the 
ship. . . . The incessant grinding and grating of the ice to the 
southward, with seething noises, as of water rushing under the 
ship's bottom, and ominous sounds, kept me on the qui vive all 
night, and the prospect of a break-up of the ice would have 
wracked my nerves had I not had them numbed by previous 
experiences. 

" July 9. — At noon the sky to the northward had cleared suffi- 
ciently to allow of seeing Mount Melbourne, which appears now 
as a low peak to the north-west. Ship's position is twenty-eight 
miles north-north-east of Franklin Island. On the port bow and 
ahead of the ship there are some enormous pressure-ridges; they 
seem to be the results of the recent and present ice movements. 
Pressure heard from the southward all day. 

" July 13. — At 5 p.m. very heavy pressure was heard on the 
port beam and bow (south) and very close to the ship. This 
occurred again at irregular intervals. Quite close to the ship 
the ice could be seen bending upwards, and occasional jars were 
felt on board. I am inclined to think that we have set into a 
cul-de-sac and that we will now experience the full force of pres- 



THE AURORA'S DEIFT 323 

sure from the south. We have prepared for the worst and can 
only hope for the best — a release from the ice with a seaworthy 
vessel under us. 

" July 18. — This has been a day of events. About 8 a.m. 
the horizon to the north became clear and, as the light grew, 
the more westerly land showed up. This is the first clear day 
that we have had since the 9th of the month, and we have set 
a considerable distance to the north-east in the meantime. By 
meridian altitudes of stars and bearings of the land, which proved 
to be Coulman Islands, Mount Murchison, and Mount Melbourne, 
our position shows seventy-eight miles (geographical) north-east 
by north of Franklin Island. During the last three days we 
have drifted forty miles (geographical), so there has been ample 
reason for all the grinding and growling of pressure lately. The 
ship endured some severe squeezes this day. 

'■'■ July 20. — Shortly before breakfast the raucous voice of the 
emperor penguin was heard, and afterwards two were seen some 
distance from the ship. . . . The nearest mainland (in vicinity 
of Cape Washington) is ninety miles distant, as also is Coulman 
Island. Franklin Island is eighty miles south-east by south, and 
the pack is in motion. This is the emperors' hatching season, 
and here we meet them out in the cheerless desert of ice. . . . 
10.45 p.m. — Heavy pressure around ship. Lanes opened and 
ship worked astern about twenty feet. The wires in the ice 
took the strain (lashings at mizzen chains carried away) and car- 
ried away fair-lead bollard on port side of forecastle head. 

" July 21, 1 a.m. — Lanes opened to about 40 ft. wide. Ship 
in open pool about 100 ft. wide. Heavy pressure in vicinity 
of ship. Called all hands and cut wires at the forecastle head. 
[These wires had remained frozen in the ice after the ship broke 
away from her moorings, and they had served a useful purpose 
at some times by checking ice movements close to the ship.] 
2 a.m. — Ship swung athwart lane as the ice opened, and the 
floes on the port side pressed her stem round. 11.30 a.m. — 
Pack of killer whales came up in the lane around the ship. Some 
broke soft ice (about one inch thick) and pushed their heads 



324 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

through, rising to five or six feet perpendicularly out of the water. 
They were apparently having a look around. It is strange to 
see killers in this immense field of ice ; open water must he near, 
I think. 5.15 p.m. — New ice of lanes cracked and opened. 
Eloes on port side pushed stem on to ice (of floe) ; floes then 
closed in and nipped the ship fore and aft. The rudder was 
bent over to starboard and smashed. The solid oak and iron 
went like matchwood. 8 p.m. — Moderate south-south-west gale 
with drift. Much straining of timbers with pressure. 10 p.m. 

— Extra hard nip fore and aft; ship visibly hogged. Heavy 
pressure. 

" July 22. — Ship in bad position in newly frozen lane, with 
bow and stern jammed against heavy floes; heavy strain with 
much creaking and groaning. 8 a.m. — Called all hands to sta- 
tions for sledges, and made final preparations for abandoning 
ship. Allotted special duties to several hands to facilitate quick- 
ness in getting clear should ship be crushed. Am afraid the 
ship's back will be broken if the pressure continues, but cannot 
relieve her. 2 p.m. — Ship lying easier. Poured sulphuric acid 
on the ice astern in hopes of rotting crack and relieving pressure 
on stern-post, but unsuccessfully. Very heavy pressure on and 
arotind ship (taking strain fore and aft and on starboard quar- 
ter). Ship jumping and straining, and listing badly. 10 p.m. 

— Ship has crushed her way into new ice on starboard side and 
slewed aslant lane with stern-post clear of land-ice. 12 p.m. — 
Ship is in safer position; lanes opening in every direction. 

" July 23. — Caught glimpse of Coulman Island through haze. 
Position of ship south 14° east (true), eighty miles off Coulman 
Island. Pressure continued intermittently throughout the day 
and night, with occasional very heavy squeezes to the ship which 
made timbers crack and groan. The ship's stern is now in a 
more or less soft bed, formed of recently frozen ice of about 
one foot in thickness. I thank God that we have been spared 
through this fearful nightmare. I shall never forget the con- 
certina motions of the ship during yesterday's and Wednesday's 
fore and aft nips. 



THE AURORA' 8 DEIFT 325 

" July 24. — Compared with previous days this is a quiet 
one. The lanes have been opening and closing, and occasionally 
the ship gets a nasty squeeze against the solid floe on our star- 
board quarter. The more lanes that open the better, as they 
form ' springs ' (when covered with thin ice, which makes to a 
thickness of three or four inches in a few hours) between the solid 
and heavier floes and fields. Surely we have been guided by the 
hands of Providence to have come in heavy grinding pack for 
over two hundred miles (geographical), skirting the ice-bound 
western shore, around and to the north of Franklin Island, and 
now into what appears a clear path to the open sea! In view 
of our precarious position and the lives of men in jeopardy, I 
sent this evening an aerogram to H. M. King George asking for 
a relief ship. I hope the wireless gets through. I have sent 
this message after much consideration, and know that in the 
event of our non-arrival in ISTew Zealand on the specified date 
(JN'ovember 1) a relief ship will be sent to aid the Southern 
Party. 

"July 25. — Very heavy pressure about the ship. During the 
early hours a large field on the port quarter came charging up, 
and on meeting our floe tossed up a ridge from ten to fifteen 
feet high. The blocks of ice as they broke off crumbled and piled 
over each other to the accompaniment of a thunderous roar. 
Throughout the day the pressure continued, the floes alternately 
opening and closing, and the ship creaking and groaning during 
the nips between floes. 

" August 4. — For nine days we have had southerly winds, 
and the last four we have experienced howling blizzards. I am 
sick of the sound of the infernal wind. Din ! Din ! Din ! and 
darkness. We should have seen the sun to-day, but a bank of 
cumulus effectually hid him, although the daylight is a never- 
ending joy. 

" August 6. — The wind moderated towards 6 a.m., and about 
breakfast time, with a clear atmosphere, the land from near Cape 
Cotter to Cape Adare was visible. What a day of delights! 
After four days of thick weather we find ourselves in sight of 



326 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

Cape Adare in a position about forty-five miles east of Possession 
Isles; in this time we have been set one hundred miles. Good 
going. Mount Sabine, the first land seen by us when coming 
south, lies away to the westward, forming the highest peak (10,000 
ft.) of a majestic range of mountains covered in eternal snow. 
Due west we can see the Possession Islands, lying under the 
stupendous bluif of Cape Downshire, which shows large patches 
of black rock. The land slopes down to the north-west of Cape 
Downshire, and rises again into the high peninsula about Cape 
Adare. We felt excited this morning in anticipation of seeing 
the sun, which rose about nine-thirty (local time). It was a 
glorious, joyful sight. We drank to something, and with very 
light hearts gave cheers for the sun. 

'' Augiist 9. — DonoUy got to work on the rudder again. It 
is a long job cutting through the iron sheathing-plates of the 
rudder, and not too safe at present, as the ice is treacherous. 
Hooke says that the conditions are normal now. I wish for 
his sake that he could get through. He is a good sportsman 
and keeps on trying, although, I am convinced, he has little hope 
with this inadequate aerial. 

"August 10. — The ship's position is lat. 70° 40' S., forty 
miles north 29° east of Cape Adare. The distance drifted from 
August 2 to 6 was one hundred miles, and from the 6th to the 
10th eighty-eight miles. 

" August 12. — By observation and bearings of land we are 
forty-five miles north-east of Cape Adare, in lat. 70° 42' S. 
This position is a little to the eastward of the position on the 
10th. The bearings as laid off on a small scale chart of gnomonic 
projection are very inaccurate, and here we are handicapped, 
as our chronometers have lost all regularity. DonoUy and Grady 
are having quite a job with the iron platings on the rudder, but 
should finish the cutting to-morrow. A jury rudder is nearly 
completed. This afternoon we mixed some concrete for the lower 
part, and had to use boiling water, as the water froze in the 
mixing. The carpenter has made a good job of the rudder, al- 



THE AURORA'S DEIFT 32Y 

though he has had to construct it on the quarter-deck in low tem- 
peratures and exposed to biting blasts. 

"August 16. — We are 'backing and filling' about forty miles 
north-east of Cape Adare. This is where we expected to have 
made much mileage. However, we cannot grumble and must be 
patient. There was much mirage to the northward, and from 
the crow's-nest a distinct appearance of open water could be 
seen stretching from north-north-west to north-east. 

" August 17. — A glorious day ! Land is distinctly visible, 
and to the northward the black fringe of water-sky over the 
horizon hangs continuously. Hooke heard Macquarie Island 
' speaking ' Hobart. The message heard was the finish of the 
weather reports. We have hopes now of news in the near future. 

" Au,gust 23. — Saw the land in the vicinity of Cape North. 
To the south-south-west the white cliffs and peaks of the inland 
ranges were -very distinct, and away in the distance to the south- 
west could be seen a low stretch of undulating land. At times 
Mount Sabine was visible through the gloom. The latitude is 
69° 44%' S. We are fifty-eight miles north, forty miles east 
of Cape l^orth. 

"■ August 24. — We lifted the rudder out of the ice and placed 
it clear of the stern, athwart the fore and aft line of the ship. 
We had quite a job with it (weight, four and a half tons), using 
treble- and double-sheaved-blocks purchase, but with the endless- 
chain tackle from the engine-room, and plenty of ' beef ' and 
leverage, we dragged it clear. All the pintles are gone at the fore 
part of the rudder; it is a clean break and bears witness to the 
terrific force exerted on the ship during the nip. I am glad to 
see the rudder upon the ice and clear of the propeller. The 
blade itself (which is solid oak, and sheathed on two sides and 
after part half-way dovm, with three-quarter inch iron plating) 
is undamaged, save for the broken pintles; the twisted portion 
is in the rudder trunk. 

" August 25, 11 p.m. — Hooke has just been in with the good 
tidings that he has heard Macquarie and the Bluff (New Zea- 



328 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

land) sending their weather reports and exchanging signals. Can 
this mean that they have heard our recent signals and are trying 
to get us now? Our motor has been out of order. 

" August 26. — The carpenter has finished the jury rudder and 
is now at work on the lower end of the rudder truck, where the 
rudder burst into the stem timbers. We are lucky in having this 
opportunity to repair these minor damages, which might prove 
serious in a seaway. 

" August 31, 6.30 a.m. — Very loud pressure-noises to the south- 
east. I went aloft after breakfast and had the pleasure of seeing 
many open lanes in all directions. The lanes of yesterday are 
frozen over, showing what little chance there is of a general and 
continued break-up of the ice until the temperature rises. Land 
was visible, but far too distant for even approximate bearings. 
The berg still hangs to the north-west of the ship. We seem to 
have pivoted outwards from the land. We cannot get out of this 
too quickly, and although every one has plenty of work, and is 
cheerful, the uselessness of the ship in her present position palls. 
" September 5. — The mizzen wireless mast came down in a 
raging blizzard to-day. In the forenoon I managed to crawl 
to windward on the top of the bridge-house, and under the lee 
of the chart-house watched the mast bending over with the wind 
and swaying like the branch of a tree, but after the aerial had stood 
throughout the winter I hardly thought the masts would carry 
away. Luckily, as it is dangerous to life to be on deck in this 
weather (food is brought from the galley in relays through blind- 
ing drift and over big heaps of snow), no one was about when 
the mast carried away. 

" September 8. — This is dull, miserable weather. Blow, snow, 
and calm for an hour or two. Sometimes it blows in this neigh- 
bourhood without snow and sometimes with — this seems to be the 
only difference. I have two patients now, Larkman and Mug- 
ridge. Larkman was frost-bitten on the great and second toes of 
the left foot some time ago, and has so far taken little notice 
of them. Now they are causing him some alarm as gangrene 
has set in. Mugridge is suffering from an intermittent rash, with 



THE AUROBA'S DEIFT 329 

red inflamed skin and large short-lived blisters. I don't know 
what the deuce it is, but the nearest description to it in a ' Materia 
Medica,' etc., is pemphigus, so pemphigus it is, and he has been 
' tonic-ed ' and massaged. 

" September 9. — This is the first day for a long time that we 
have registered a minimum temperature above zero for the twenty- 
four hours. It is pleasant to think that from noon to noon through- 
out the night the temperature never fell below + 4° (28° frost), 
and with the increase of daylight it makes one feel that summer 
really is approaching. 

"■ September 13. — All around the northern horizon there is the 
appearance of an open water-sky, but around the ship the pros- 
pect is dreary. The sun rose at 6.20 a.m. and set at 5.25 p.m. 
Ship's time — eleven hours five minutes of sunlight and seventeen 
hours light. Three hours twilight morning and evening. The 
carpenter is dismantling the tafFrail (to facilitate the landing 
and, if necessary, the boarding of the jury rudder) and will con- 
struct a temporary, removable rail. 

" September 16. — There has been much mirage all around the 
horizon, and to the eastward through south to south-west heavy 
frost smoke has been rising. Over the northern horizon a low 
bank of white fog hangs as though over the sea. I do not like 
these continued low temperatures. I am beginning to have doubts 
as to our release until the sun starts to rot the ice. 

" September 17. — This is the anniversary of our departure 
from London. There are only four of the original eleven on 
board — Larkman, Mnnis, Mauger, and I. Much has happened 
since Friday, September 18, 1914, and I can recall the scene 
as we passed down the Thames with submarines and cruisers, 
in commission and bent on business, crossing our course. I 
can also remember the regret at leaving it all and the consequent 
' fed-upness.' 

"September 21. — The sun is making rapid progress south, 
and we have had to-day over seventeen hours' light and twelve 
hours' sunlight. Oh for a release! The monotony and worry 
of our helpless position is deadly. I suppose Shackleton and 



330 CEOSSIISrG THE SOUTH POLE 

his party will have started depot laying now and will be full 
of hopes for the future. I wonder whether the Endurance win- 
tered in the ice or went north. I cannot help thinking that if 
she wintered in the Weddell Sea she will be worse off than the 
Aurora. What a lot we have to look for in the next six months 
— news of Shackleton and the Endurance, the party at Cape Evans, 
and the war. 

"September 22.— Lat. 69° 12' S.; long. 165° 00' E. Sturge 
Island (Balleny Group) is bearing north (true) ninety miles 
distant. Light north-west airs with clear, fine weather. Sighted 
Sturge Island in the morning, bearing due north of us and ap- 
pearing like a faint low shadow on the horizon. It is good to get 
a good landmark for fixing positions again, and it is good to 
see that we are making northerly progress, however small. Since 
breaking away from Cape Evans we have drifted roughly seven 
hundred and five miles around islands and past formidable ob- 
stacles, a wonderful drift! It is good to think that it has not 
been in vain, and that the knowledge of the set and drift of the 
pack will be a valuable addition to the sum of human knowledge. 
The distance from Cape Evans to our present position is seven 
hundred and five miles (geographical). 

" September 27. — The temperature in my room last night was 
around about zero, rather chilly, but warm enough under the 
blankets. Hooke has dismantled his wireless gear. He feels 
rather sick about not getting communication, although he does 
not show it. 

" September 30. — Ninnis has been busy now for the past week 
on the construction of a new tractor. He is building the body and 
will assemble the motor in the fore 'tween decks, where it can be 
lashed securely when we are released from the ice. I can see 
leads of open water from the masthead, but we are still held 
firmly. How long ? 

" October 7. — As time wears on the possibility of getting back 
to the Barrier to land a party deserves consideration; if we 
do not get clear until late in the season we will have to turn 
south first, although we have no anchors and little moorings, no 



THE AURORA'S DEIFT 331 

rudder and a short supply of coal. To leave a party on the Bar- 
rier would make us very short-handed ; stilly it can be done, and 
anything is preferable to the delay in assisting to the people at 
Cape Evans. At 5 a.m. a beautiful parhelion formed around 
the sun. The sight so impressed the bos'n that he roused me 
out to see it." 

During the month of October the Aurora drifted uneventfully. 
Stenhouse mentions that there was often an appearance of open 
water on the northern and eastern horizon. But anxious eyes 
were strained in vain for indications that the day of the ship's 
release was near at hand. Hooke had the wireless plant running 
again and was trying daily to get into touch with Macquarie 
Island, now about eight hundred and fifty miles distant. The 
request for a relief ship was to be renewed if communication could 
be established, for by this time, if all had gone well with the 
Endurance, the overland party from the Weddell Sea would have 
been starting. There was considerable movement of the ice to- 
wards the end of the month, lanes opening and closing, but the 
floe, some acres in area, into which the Aurora was frozen, re- 
mained firm until the early days of November. The cracks ap- 
peared close to the ship, due apparently to heavy drift causing 
the floe to sink. The temperatures were higher now, under the 
influence of the sun, and the ice was softer. Thawing was caus- 
ing discomfort in the quarters aboard. The position on Novem- 
ber 12 was reckoned to be lat. 66° 49' S., long. 155° 17' 45" E. 
Stenhouse made a sounding on November 17, in lat. 66° 40' S., 
long. 154° 45' E., and found bottom at 194 fathoms. The bottom 
sample was mud and a few small stones. The sounding line 
showed a fairly strong under-current to the north-west. " We 
panned out some of the mud," says Stenhouse, " and in the re- 
maining grit found several specks of gold." Two days later the 
trend of the current was south-easterly. There was a pronounced 
thaw on the 22nd. The cabins were in a dripping state, and 
recently fallen snow was running off the ship in little streams. 
All hands were delighted, for the present discomfort offered prom- 
ise of an early break-up of the pack. 



332 CROSSi:KrG THE SOUTH POLE 

"November 23. — At 3 a.in. Young Island, Balleny Group, 
was seen bearing nortk 54° east (true). The island, which showed 
up clearly on the horizon, under a heavy stratus-covered sky, 
appeared to be very far distant. By latitude at noon we are in 
66° 26' S. As this is the charted latitude of Peak Eoreman, 
Young Island, the bearing does not agree. Land was seen at 
8 a.m. bearing south 60° west (true). This, which would appear 
to be Cape Hudson, loomed up through the mists in the form 
of a high, bold headland, with low undulating land stretching 
away to the south-south-east and to the westward of it. The 
appearance of this headland has been foretold for the last two 
days by masses of black fog, but it seems strange that land so 
high should not have been seen before, as there is little change 
in the atmospheric conditions. 

" November 24. — Overcast and hazy during forenoon. Cloudy, 
clear, and fine in afternoon and evening. Not a vestige of land 
can be seen, so Cape Hudson is really ' Cape Elyaway.' This 
is most weird. All hands saw the headland to the south-west, 
and some of us sketched it. Wow (afternoon), although the 
sky is beautifully clear to the south-west, nothing can be seen. 
We cannot have drifted far from yesterday's position. No wonder 
Wilkes reported land. 9 p.m. — A low fringe of land appears on 
the horizon bearing south-west, but in no way resembles our Cape 
of yesterday. This afternoon we took a cast of the lead through 
the crack 200 yds. west of the ship, but found no bottom at TOO 
fathoms." 

An interesting incident on November 26 was the discovery 
of an emperor penguin rookery. Ninnis and Kavenagh took 
a long walk to the north-west, and found the deserted rookery. 
The depressions in the ice, made by the birds, were about eighteen 
inches long and contained a greyish residue. The rookery was in 
a hollow surrounded by pressure ridges six feet high. Apparently 
about twenty birds had been there. No pieces of egg-shell were 
seen, but the petrels and skuas had been there in force and prob- 
ably would have taken all scraps of this kind. The floes were 
becoming soft and " rotten," and walking was increasingly diffi- 



THE AUBOBA'S DEIFT 333 

cult. Deep pools of slush and water covered with thin snow made 
traps for the men. Stenhouse thought that a stiff blizzard would 
break up the pack. His anxiety was increasing with the advance 
of the season, and his log is a record of deep yearning to be free 
and active again. But the grip of the pack was inexorable. The 
hands had plenty of work on the Aurora, which was being made 
shipshape after the buffeting of the winter storms. Seals and 
penguins were seen frequently, and the supply of fresh meat was 
maintained. The jury rudder was ready to be shipped when the 
ship was released, but in the meantime it was not being exposed 
to the attacks of the ice. " !N^o appreciable change in our sur- 
roundings," was the note for December 17. " Every day past 
now reduces our chance of getting out in time to go north for 
rudder, anchors, and coal. If we break out before January 15 
we might get north to I^ew Zealand and down to Cape Evans again 
in time to pick up the parties. After that date we can only 
attempt to go south in our crippled state, and short of fuel. With 
only nine days' coal on board we would have little chance of 
working through any Eoss Sea pack, or of getting south at all if 
we encountered many blizzards. Still there is a sporting chance 
and luck may be with us. . . . Shackleton may be past the Pole 
now. I wish our wireless calls had got through." 

Christmas Day, with its special dinner and mild festivities, 
came and passed, and still the ice remained firm. The men were 
finding some interest in watching the moulting of emperor pen- 
guins, which were stationed at various points in the neighbour- 
hood of the ship. They had taken station to leeward of hum- 
mocks, and appeared to move only when the wind changed or 
the snow around them had become foul. They covered but a 
few yards on these journeys, and even then stumbled in their 
weakness. One emperor was brought on board alive, and the 
crew were greatly amused to see the bird balancing himself on 
heels and tail, with upturned toes, the position adopted when 
the egg is resting on the feet during the incubation period. The 
threat of a stiff "blow" aroused hopes of release several times, 
but the blizzard — probably the first Antarctic blizzard that was 



334 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

ever longed for — did not arrive. New Year's Day found Sten- 
house and other men just recovering from an attack of snow- 
blindness, contracted by making an excursion across the floes 
without snow-goggles. 

At the end of the first week in January the ship was in lat. 
65° 45' S. The pack was well broken a mile from the ship, and 
the ice was rolling fast. Under the bows and stern the pools 
were growing and stretching away in long lanes to the west. A 
seal came up to blow under the stem on the 6th, proving that 
there was an opening in the sunken ice there. Stenhouse was 
economizing in food. No breakfast was served on the ship, and 
seal- or penguin-meat was used for at least one of the two meals 
later in the day. All hands were short of clothing, but Sten- 
house was keeping intact the sledging gear intended for the use 
of the shore party. Strong, variable winds on the 9th raised hopes 
again, and on the morning of the 10th the ice appeared to be 
well broken from half a mile to a mile distant from the ship in 
all directions. " It seems extraordinary that the ship should be 
held in an almost unbroken floe of about a mile square, the more 
so as this patch was completely screwed and broken during the 
smash in July, and contains many faults. In almost any direc- 
tion at a distance of half a mile from the ship there are pressure- 
ridges of eight-inch ice piled twenty feet high. It was provident 
that although so near, these ridges were escaped." 

The middle of January was passed and the Aurora lay still 
in the ice. The period of continuous day was drawing towards 
its close, and there was an appreciable twilight at midnight. A 
dark water-sky could be seen on the northern horizon. The lati- 
tude on January 24 was 65° 39^/2' S. Towards the end of the 
month Stenhouse ordered a thorough overhaul of the stores and 
general preparations for a move. The supply of flour and butter 
was ample. Other stores were running low, and the crew lost 
no opportunity of capturing seals and penguins. Adelies were 
travelling to the east-south-east in considerable numbers, but they 
could not be taken unless they approached the ship closely, owing 
to the soft condition of the ice. The wireless plant, which had 



THE AURORA'S DEIFT 335 

been idle during the months of daylight, had been rigged again, 
and Hooke resumed his calls to Maequarie Island on February 2. 
He listened in vain for any indication that he had been heard. 
The pack was showing much movement, but the large floe con- 
taining the ship remained firm. 

The break-up of the floe came on February 12. Strong north- 
east to south-east winds put the ice in motion and brought a 
perceptible swell. The ship was making some water, a foretaste 
of a trouble to come, and all hands spent the day at the pumps, 
reducing the water from three feet eight and a half inches in the 
well to twelve inches, in spite of frozen pipes and other diffi- 
culties. Work had just finished for the night when the ice broke 
astern and quickly split in all directions under the influence of 
the swell. The men managed to save some seal-meat which had 
been cached in a drift near the gangway. They lost the flag- 
staff, which had been rigged as a wireless mast out on the floe, 
but drew in the aerial. The ship was floating now amid frag- 
ments of floe, and bumping considerably in the swell. A fresh 
southerly wind blew during the night, and the ship started to 
forge ahead gradually without sail. At 8.30 a.m. on the 13th 
Stenhouse set the foresail and foretopmast staysail, and the 
Aurora moved northward slowly, being brought up occasionally 
by large floes. Navigation under such conditions, without steam 
and without a rudder, was exceedingly difficult, but Stenhouse 
wished if possible to save his small remaining stock of coal until 
he cleared the pack, so that a quick run might be made to Mc- 
Murdo Sound. The jury rudder could not be rigged in the 
pack. The ship was making about three and a half feet of water 
in the twenty-four hours, a quantity easily kept in check by the 
pumps. 

During the 14th the Aurora worked very slowly northward 
through heavy pack. Occasionally the yards were backed or an 
ice-anchor put into a floe to help her out of difficult places, but 
much of the time sihe steered herself. The jury rudder boom 
was topped into position in the afternoon, but the rudder was 
not to be shipped until open pack or open water was reached. 



336 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

The ship was held up all day on the 15th in lat. 64° 38' S. Heavy 
floes barred progress in every direction. Attempts were made 
to work the ship by trimming sails and warping with ice-anchors, 
but she could not be manceuvred smartly enough to take advan- 
tage of leads that opened and closed. This state of affairs con- 
tinued throughout the 16th. That night a heavy swell was roll- 
ing under the ice and the ship had a rough time. One pointed 
floe ten or twelve feet thick was steadily battering, with a three 
feet send, against the starboard side, and fenders only partially 
deadened the shock. " It is no use butting against this pack 
with steam-power," wrote Stenhouse. " We would use all our 
meagre supply of coal in reaching the limit of the ice in sight, 
and then we would be in a hole, with neither ballast nor fuel. 
. . . But if this stagnation lasts another week we will have to 
raise steam and consume our coal in an endeavour to get into 
navigable waters. I am afraid our chances of getting south are 
very small now." 

The pack remained close, and on the 21st a heavy swell made 
the situation dangerous. The ship bumped heavily that night 
and fenders were of little avail. With each " send " of the 
swell the ship would bang her bows on the floe ahead, then bounce 
back and smash into another floe across her stem-post. This floe, 
about six feet thick and 100 ft. across, was eventually split and 
smashed by the impacts. The pack was jammed close on the 
23rd, when the noon latitude was 64° 36^/^' S. The next change 
was for the worse. The pack loosened on the night of the 25th, 
and a heavy north-west swell caused the ship to bump heavily. 
This state of affairs recurred at intervals in succeeding days. 
" The battering and ramming of the floes increased in the early 
hours (of February 29) until it seemed as if some sharp floe 
or jagged underfoot must go through the ship's hull. At 6 a.m. 
we converted a large coir-spring into a fender, and slipped it 
under the port quarter, where a pressured floe with twenty to 
thirty feet underfoot was threatening to knock the propeller and 
stern-post off altogether. At 9 a.m., after pumping ship, the 
engineer reported a leak in the way of the propeller-shaft aft 



THE AURORA'S DEIET 337 

near the stern-post on the port side. The carpenter cut part of 
the lining and filled the space between the timbers with Stock- 
holm tar, cement, and oakum. He could not get at the actual 
leak, but his makeshift made a little difference. I am anxious 
about the propeller. This pack is a dangerous place for a ship 
now J it seems miraculous that the old ship still floats." 

The ice opened out a little on March 1. It was imperative to 
get the ship out of her dangerous situation quickly, as winter 
was approaching, and Stenhouse therefore ordered steam to be 
raised. jN'ext morning he had the spanker gaff rigged over the 
stern for use as a temporary rudder while in the heavy pack. 
Steam had been raised to working pressure at 5.15 p.m. on the 
2nd, and the Aurora began to work ahead to the westward. Prog- 
ress was very slow owing to heavy floes and deep underfoots, 
which necessitated frequent stoppages of the engines. Open 
water was in sight to the north and north-west the next morn- 
ing, after a restless night spent among the rocking floes. But 
progress was very slow. The Aurora went to leeward under the 
influence of a west-south-west breeze, and steering by means of 
the yards and a warp anchor was a ticklish business. The ship 
came to a full stop among heavy floes before noon on the 3rd, 
and three hours later, after vain attempts to warp ahead by 
means of ice-anchors, Stenhouse had the fires partially drawn 
(to save coal) and banked. 

'Ko advance was made on March 4 and 5. A moderate gale 
from the east-north-east closed the ice and set it in motion, and 
the Aurora, with banked fires, rolled and bumped heavily. Seven- 
teen bergs were in sight, and one of them was working south- 
wards into the pack and threatening to approach the ship. Dur- 
ing the night the engines were turned repeatedly by the action 
of ice on the propeller blades. " All theories about the swell 
being non-existent in the pack are false," wrote the anxious mas- 
ter. " Here we are with a suggestion only of open water-sky, 
and the ship rolling her scuppers under and sitting dovm bodily 
on the floes." The ice opened when the wind moderated, and on 
the afternoon of the 6th the Aurora moved northward again. 



338 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

" Without a rudder (no jury rudder can yet be used amongst 
these swirling, rolling floes) the ship requires a lot of attention. 
Her head must be pointed between floes by means of ice-anohors 
and warps, or by mooring to a floe and steaming round it. We 
kept a fairly good course between two bergs to our northward and 
made about five miles northing till, darkness coming on, the men 
could no longer venture on the floes with safety to fix the anchors." 

The next three days were full of anxiety. The Aurora, was 
held by the ice, and subjected to severe buffeting, while two bergs 
approached from the north. On the morning of the 10th the 
nearest berg was within three cables of the ship. But the pack 
had opened and by 9.30 a.m. the ship was out of the'danger zone 
and headed north-north-east. The pack continued to open dur- 
ing the afternoon, and the Aurora passed through wide stretches 
of small loose floes and brash. Progress was good until dark- 
ness made a stop necessary. The next morning the pack was 
denser. Stenhouse shipped a preventer jury rudder (the weighted 
spanker gaff), but could not get steerage way. Broad leads were 
sighted to the north-west in the afternoon, and the ship got within 
a quarter of a mile of the nearest lead before being held up by 
heavy pack. She again bumped severely during the night, and the 
watch stood by with fenders to ease the more dangerous blows. 

Early next morning Stenhouse lowered a jury rudder, with 
steering pennants to drag through the water, and moved north 
to north-west through heavy pack. He made sixteen miles that 
day on an erratic course, and then spent an anxious night with 
the ship setting back into the pack and being pounded heavily. 
Attempts to work forward to an open lead on the morning of the 
13th were unsuccessful. Early in the afternoon a little progress 
was made, with all hands standing by to fend off high ice, and 
at 4.50 p.m. the Aurora cleared the main pack. An hour was 
spent shipping the jury rudder under the counter, and then the 
ship moved slowly northward. There was pack still ahead, and 
the bergs and growlers were a constant menace in the hours of 
darkness. Some anxious work remained to be done, since bergs 
and scattered ice extended in all directions, but at 2 p.m. on 




NEXT JIORNIXG THE JURY RUDDER. \VA« SHIPrED 



THE AURORA'S DEIFT 339 

Marcli 14 the Aurora cleared the last belt of pack in lat. 62° 27.5' 
S., long. 157° 32' E. " We ' spliced the main brace,' " says 
Stenhouse, " and blew three blasts of farewell to the pack with 
the whistle." 

The Aurora was not at the end of her troubles, but the voyage 
up to New Zealand need not be described in detail. Any attempt 
to reach McMurdo Sound was now out of the question. Sten- 
house had a battered, rudderless ship, with only a few tons of 
coal left in the bunkers, and he struggled northward in heavy 
weather against persistent adverse winds and head seas. The 
jury rudder needed constant nursing, and the shortage of coal 
made it impossible to get the best service from the engines. There 
were times when the ship could make no progress and fell about 
helplessly in a confused swell or lay hove to amid mountainous 
seas. She was short-handed, and one or two of the men were 
creating additional difficulties. But Stenhouse displayed 
throughout fine seamanship and dogged perseverance. He accom- 
plished successfully one of the most difficult voyages on record, 
in an ocean area notoriously stormy and treacherous. On March 
23 he established wireless communication with Bluff Station, 'New 
Zealand, and the next day was in touch with Wellington and 
Hobart. The naval officer in l^ew Zealand waters offered as- 
sistance, and eventually it was arranged that the Otago Harbour 
Board's tug Plucky should meet the Aurora outside Port Chal- 
mers. There were still bad days to be endured. The jury rud- 
der partially carried away and had to be unshipped in a heavy 
sea. Stenhouse carried on, and in the early morning of April 
2 the Aurora picked up the tug and was taken in tow. She 
reached Port Chalmers the following morning, and was wel- 
comed with the warm hospitality that New Zealand has always 
shown towards Antarctic explorers. 



CHAPTEE XVII 

THE LAST EELIE.F 

When I reached New Zealand at the beginning of December, 1916, 
I found that the arrangements for the relief were complete. The 
ISTew Zealand Government had taken the task in hand earlier in 
the year, before I had got into touch with the outside world. 
The British and Australian Governments were giving financial 
assistance. The Aurora had been repaired and refitted at Port 
Chalmers during the year at considerable cost, and had been 
provisioned and coaled for the voyage to McMurdo Sound. My 
old friend Captain John K. Davis, who was a member of my 
first Antarctic Expedition in 190Y— 09, and who subsequently 
commanded Dr. Mawson's ship in the Australian Antarctic Ex- 
pedition, had been placed in command of the Aurora by the 
Governments, and he had engaged officers, engineers, and crew. 
Captain Davis came to Wellington to see me on my arrival there, 
and I heard his account of the position. I had interviews also 
with the Minister for Marine, the late Dr. Robert McNab, a kindly 
and sympathetic Scotsman who took a deep personal interest in 
the expedition. Stenhouse also was in Wellington, and I may 
say again here that his account of his voyage and drift in the 
Aurora filled me with admiration for his pluck, seamanship, and 
resourcefulness. 

After discussing the situation fully with Dr. McITab, I agreed 
that the arrangements already made for the relief expedition 
should stand. Time was important and there were difficulties 
about making any change of plans or control at the last moment. 
After Captain Davis had been at work for some months the Gov- 
ernment agreed to hand the Aurora over to me free of liability 
on her return to New Zealand. It was decided, therefore, that 

340 



THE LAST EELIEF 341 

Captain. Davis should take the ship down to McMurdo Sound, 
and that I should go with him to take charge of any shore opera- 
tions that might be necessary. I " signed on " at a salary of 
Is. a month, and we sailed from Port Chalmers on December 20, 
1916. A week later we sighted ice again. The Aurora made a 
fairly quick passage through the pack and entered the open water 
of the Boss Sea on January Y, 1917. 

Captain Davis brought the Aurora alongside the ice edge off 
Cape Eoyds on the morning of January 10, and I went ashore 
with a party to look for some record in the hut erected there by 
my expedition in 1907. I found a letter stating that the Eoss 
Sea party was housed at Cape Evans, and was on my way back 
to the ship when six men, with dogs and sledge, were sighted com- 
ing from the direction of Cape Evans. At 1 p.m. this party ar- 
rived on board, and we learned that of the ten members of the 
Expedition left behind when the Aurora broke away on May 6, 
1915, seven had survived; namely, A. Stevens, E. Joyce, H. E. 
Wild, J. L. Cope, E. W. Eichards, A. K. Jack, I. 0. Gaze. These 
seven men were all well, though they showed traces of the ordeal 
through which they had passed. They told us of the deaths of 
Mackintosh, Spencer-Smith, and Hayward, and of their own 
anxious wait for relief. 

All that remained to be done was to make a final search for 
the bodies of Mackintosh and Hayward. There was no possibility 
of either man being alive. They had been without equipment 
when the blizzard broke the ice they were crossing. It would 
have been impossible for them to have survived more than a few 
days, and eight months had now elapsed without news of them. 
Joyce had already searched south of Glacier Tongue. I con- 
sidered that further search should be made in two directions, the 
area north of Glacier Tongue, and the old depot off Butler Point, 
and I made a report to Captain Davis to this effect. 

On January 12 the ship reached a point five and a half miles 
east of Butler Point. I took a party across rubbly and water- 
logged ice to within thirty yards of the piedmont ice, but owing 
to high cliffs and loose slushy ice could not make a landing. The 



342 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

land-ice had broken away at the point cut by the cross-bearings 
of the depot, but was visible in the form of two large bergs grounded 
to the north of Cape Bernacchi. There was no sign of the depot 
or of any person having visited the vicinity. We returned to 
the ship and proceeded across the Sound to Cape Bernacchi. 

The next day I took a party ashore with the object of search- 
ing the area north of Glacier Tongue, including Razorback Island, 
for traces of the two missing men. We reached the Cape Evans 
Hut at 1.30 p.m., and Joyce and I left at 3 p.m. for the Razor- 
backs. We conducted a search round both islands, returning to 
the hut at 7 p.m. The search had been fruitless. On the 14th 
I started with Joyce to search the north side of Glacier Tongue, 
but the surface drift, with wind from south-east, decided me not 
to continue, as the ice was moving rapidly at the end of Cape 
Evans, and the pool between the hut and Inaccessible Island was 
growing larger. The wind increased in the afternoon. The next 
day a south-east blizzard was blowing, with drift half up the 
islands. I considered it unsafe to sledge that day, especially as 
the ice was breaking away from the south side of Cape Evans 
into the pool. We spent the day putting the htit in order. 

We got up at 3 a.m. on the 16th. The weather was fine and 
calm. I started at 4.20 with Joyce to the south at the greatest 
possible speed. We reached Glacier Tangue about one and a 
half miles from the seaward end. Wherever there were not 
precipitous cliffs there was an even snow slope to the top. Erom 
the top we searched with glasses; there was nothing to be seen 
but blue ice, crevassed, showing no protuberances. We came 
down and, half-running, half-walking, worked about three miles 
towards the root of the glacier; but I could see there was not 
the slightest chance of finding any remains, owing to the enor- 
mous snowdrifts wherever the cliffs were accessible. The base 
of the steep cliffs had drifts ten to fifteen feet high. We arrived 
back at the hut at 9.40, and left almost immediately for the ship. 
I considered that all places likely to hold the bodies of Mackin- 
tosh and Hayward had now been searched. There was no doubt 
to my mind that they met their deaths on the breaking of the 



THE LAST BELIEF 343 

thin ice when the blizzard arose on May 8, 1916. During my 
absence from the hut Wild and Jack had erected a cross to the 
memory of the three men who had lost their lives in the service 
of the Expedition. 

Captain Davis took the ship northward on January 17. The 
ice conditions were unfavorable and pack barred the way. We 
stood over to the western coast towards Dunlop Island and fol- 
lowed it to Granite Harbour. No mark or depot of any kind 
was seen. The Aurora reached the main pack, about sixty miles 
from Cape Adare, on January 22. The ice was closed ahead, 
and Davis went south in open water to wait for better conditions. 
A north-west gale on January 28 enabled the ship to pass be- 
tween the pack and the land off Cape Adare, and we crossed the 
Antarctic Circle on the last day of the month. On February 4 
Davis sent a formal report to the New Zealand Government by 
wireless, and on February 9 the Aurora was berthed at Welling- 
ton. We were welcomed like returned brothers by the New Zea- 
land people. 



CHAPTEE XVIII 

THE PINAL PHASE 

The foregoing chapters of this book represent the general narra- 
tive of our Expedition. That we failed in accomplishing the ob- 
ject we set out for was due, I venture to assert, not to any neglect 
or lack of organization, but to the overwhelming natural obstacles, 
especially the unprecedentedly severe summer conditions on the 
Weddell Sea side. But though the Expedition was a failure in 
one respect, I think it was successful in many others. A large 
amount of important scientific work was carried out. The 
meteorological observations in particular have an economic bear- 
ing. The hydrographical work in the Weddell Sea has done much 
to clear up the mystery of this, the least known of all the seas. 
I have appended a short scientific memorandum to this volume, 
but the more detailed scientific results must wait until more 
suitable time arrives, when more stable conditions prevail. Then 
results will be worked out. 

To the credit side of the Expedition one can safely say that 
the comradeship and resource of the members of the Expedition 
was worthy of the highest traditions of Polar service; and it was 
a privilege to me to have had under my command men who, 
through dark days and the stress and strain of continuous danger, 
kept up their spirits and carried out their work regardless of 
themselves and heedless of the limelight. The same energy and 
endurance that they showed in the Antarctic they brought to the 
greater war in the Old World. And having followed our fortunes 
in the South you may be interested to know that practically every 
member of the Expedition was employed in one or other branches 
of the active fighting forces during the war. Several are still 
abroad, and for this very reason it has been impossible for me 

to obtain certain details for this book. 

344 



THE FINAL PHASE 345 

Of the fifty-three men who returned out of the fifty-six who 
left for the South, three have since been killed, and five- wounded. 
Four decorations have been won, and several members of the Ex- 
pedition have been mentioned in despatches. McO'arthy, the 
best and most efiicient of the sailors, always cheerful under the 
most trying circumstances, and who, for these very reasons, I 
chose to accompany me on the boat journey to South Georgia, was 
killed at his gun in the Channel. Cheetham, the veteran of the 
Antarctic, who had been more often south of the Antarctic circle 
■daan any mau, was drowned when the vessel he was serving in 
was torpedoed, a few weeks before the Armistice. Ernest Wild, 
Frank Wild's brother, was killed while minesweeping in the 
Mediterranean. Mauger, the carpenter on the Aurora, was badly 
wounded while serving with the N"ew Zealand Infantry, so that 
he is unable to follow his trade again^ He is now employed by 
the New Zealand Government. The two surgeons, Macklin and 
McHroy, served in France and Italy, ' Mcllroy being badly 
wounded at Ypres. Frank Wild, in view of his unique experi- 
ence of ice and ice conditions, was at once sent to 'the ITorth 
Russian front, where his zeal and ability won him the highest 
praise. 

Macklin served first with the Yorks and later transferred as 
medical officer to the Tanks, where he did much good work. 
Going to the Italian front with his battalion, he won the Military 
Cross for bravery in tending wounded under fire. 

James joined the Eoyal Engineers, Sound Ranging Section, 
and after much front-line work, was given charge of a Sound 
Ranging School to teach other ofiicers this latest and most scientific 
addition to the art of war. 

Wordie went to France with the Royal Field Artillery and 
was badly wounded at Armentieres. 

Hussey was in France for eighteen months with the Royal 
Garrison Artillery, serving in every big battle from Dixmude to 
St. Quentin. 

Wdrsley, known to his intimates as Depth-Charge Bill, owing 
to his success with that particular method of destroying German 



346 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

submarines, has the Distinguished Service Order and three sub- 
marines to his credit. 

Stenhouse, who commanded the Aurora after Mackintosh 
landed, was with Worsley as his second in command when one 
of the German submarines was rammed and sunk and received 
the D.S.C. for his share in the fight. He was afterwards given 
command of a Mystery Ship, and fought several actions with 
enemy submarines. 

Clark served on a minesweeper. Greenstreet was employed 
with the barges on the Tigris. Eickenson was commissioned as 
Engineer-Lieutenant, E.]Sr. Kerr returned to the Merchant 
Service as an engineer. 

Most of the crew ctf the Endurance served on minesweepers. 

Of the Eoss Sea Party, Mackintosh, Hayward, and Spencer- 
Smith died for their country as surely as any who gave up their 
lives on the fields of France and Elanders. Hooke, the wireless 
operator, now navigates an airship. 

Nearly all of the crew of the Aurora joined the New Zealand 
Field Forces and saw active service in one or other of the many 
theatres of war. Several have been wounded, but it has been 
impossible to obtain details. 

On my return, after the rescue of the survivors of the Eoss 
Sea Party, I offered my services to the Government, and was 
sent on a mission to South America. When this was concluded 
I was commisisoned as Major and went to North Eussia in charge 
of Arctic Equipment and Transport, having with me Worsley, 
Stenhouse, Hussey, Macklin, and Brocklehurst, who was to have 
come South with us, but who, as a regular ofiicer, rejoined his 
unit on the outbreak of war. He has been wounded three 
times and was in the retreat from Mons. Worsley was sent 
across to the Archangel front, where he did excellent woi-k, and 
the others served with me on the Murmansk front. The mobile 
columns there had exactly the same clothing, equipment, and 
sledging food as we had on the Expedition. No expense was 
spared to obtain the best of everything for them, and as a result 
not a single case of avoidable frost-bite was reported. 



THE FINAL PHASE 34Y 

Taking the Expedition as a unit, out of fifty-six men three 
died in the Antarctic, three were killed in action, and five have 
teen wounded, so that our casualties have been fairly high. 

Though some have gone there are enough left to rally round 
and form a nucleus for the next Expedition, when troublous times 
are over and scientific exploration can once more be legitimately 
undertaken. 



APPENDIX I 

SCIENTIFIC WOEK 

By J. M. WoRDiE, M.A. (Cantab.), Lieut. E.E.A. 

The research undertaken by the Expedition was originally planned 
for a shore party working from a fixed base on land, but it was only 
in South Georgia that this condition of affairs was fully realized. 
On this island, where a full month was spent, the geologist made very 
extensive collections, and began the mapping of the country; the 
magnetician had some of his instruments in working order for a short 
while; and the meteorologist was able to co-operate with the Argen- 
tine observer stationed at Grytviken. It had been realized how im- 
portant the meteorological observations were going to be to the 
Argentine Government, and they accordingly did all in their power 
to help, both before and at the end of the Expedition. The biologist 
devoted most of his time, meanwhile, to the whaling industry, there 
being no less than seven stations on the island ; he also made collections 
of the neritic fauna, and, accompanied by the photographer, studied 
the bird life and the habits of the sea-elephants along the east coast. 

By the time the actual southern voyage commenced, each individual 
had his own particular line of work which he was prepared to follow 
out. The biologist at first confined himself to collecting the plankton, 
and a start was made in securing water samples for temperature and 
salinity. In this, from the beginning, he had the help of the geologist, 
who also gave instructions for the taking of a line of soundings 
under the charge of the ship's officers. This period of the south- 
ward voyage was a very busy time so far as the scientists were con- 
cerned, for, besides their own particular work, they took their full 
share of looking after the dogs and working the ship watch by 
watch. At the same time, moreover, the biologist had to try and 
avoid being too lavish with his preserving material at the expense 
of the shore station collections which were yet to make. 

When it was finally known that the ship had no longer any chance 
of getting free of the ice in the 1914-1915 season, a radical change 
was made in the arrangements. The scientists were freed, as far 
as possible, from ship's duties, and were thus able to devote them- 

349 



350 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

selves almost entirely to their own particular spheres. The meteoro- 
logical investigations took on a more definite shape; the instruments 
intended for the land base were set up on board ship, including 
self-recording barographs, thermometers, and a Dines anemometer, 
with which very satisfactory results were got. The physicist set up 
his quadrant electrometer after a good deal of trouble, but through- 
out the winter had to struggle constantly with rime forming on the 
parts of his apparatus exposed to the outer air. Good runs were 
being thus continually spoilt. The determination of the magnetic 
constants also took up a good part of his time. 

Besides collecting plankton the biologist was now able to put down 
one or other of his dredges at more frequent intervals, always taking 
care, however, not to exhaust his store of preserving material, which 
was limited. The taking of water samples was established on a 
better system, so that the series should be about equally spaced out 
over the ship's course. The geologist suppressed all thought of 
rocks, though occasionally they were met with in bottom samples; 
his work became almost entirely oceanographical, and included a study 
of the sea-ice, of the physiography of the sea floor as shown by daily 
soundings, and of the bottom deposits; besides this he helped the 
biologist in the temperature and salinity observations. 

The work undertaken and accomplished by each member was as 
wide as possible; but it was only in keeping with the spirit of the 
times that more attention should be paid to work from which practi- 
cal and economic results were likely to accrue. The meteorologist 
had always in view the effect of Antarctic climate on the other 
southern continents, the geologist looked on ice from a seaman's 
point of view, and the biologist not unwillingly put whales in the 
forefront of his programme. The accounts which follow on these 
very practical points show how closely scientific work in the Antarctic 
is in touch with, and helps on the economic development of, the in- 
habited lands to the north. 



SEA-ICE NOMENCLATUEE 

By J. M. WoKDiE, M.A. (Cantab.), Lieut. E.F.A. 

During the voyage of the Enchirance it was soon noticed that the 
terms being used to describe different forms of ice were not always 
in agreement with those given in Markham's and Mill's glossary in 
"The Antarctic Manual," 1901. It was the custom, of course, to 



APPENDIX 351 

follow implicitly the terminology used by those of the party, whose 
experience of ice dated back to Captain Scott's first voyage, so that 
the terms used may be said to be common to all Antarctic voyages 
of the present century. The principal changes, therefore, in nomen- 
clature must date from the last quarter of the nineteenth century, 
when there was no one to pass on the traditional usage from the last 
naval Arctic Expedition in 1875 to the Discovery Expedition of 1901., 
On the latter ship Markham's and Mill's glossary was, of course, used, 
but apparently not slavishly; founded, as far as sea-ice went, on 
Scoresby's, made in 1820, it might well have been adopted in its 
entirety, for no writer could have carried more weight than Scoresby 
the younger, combining as he did more than ten years' whaling ex- 
perience with high scientific attainments. Above all others he could 
be accepted both by practical seamen and also by students of ice 
forms. 

That the old terms of Scoresby did not all survive the period of 
indifference to Polar work, in spite of Markham and Mill, is an indica- 
tion either that their usefulness has ceased, or that the original usage 
has changed once and for all. A restatement of terms is therefore 
now necessary. Where possible the actual phrases of Scoresby and 
of his successors, Markham and MUl, are still used. The principle 
adopted, however, is to give preference to the words actually used by 
the Polar seamen themselves. 

The following authorities have been followed as closely as possible : 

W. Scoresby, Jun, "An Account of the Arctic Eegions," 1830, 
vol. i, pp. 335-233, 338-341. 

C. E. Markham and H. E. MiU in " The Antarctic Manual," 1901, 
pp. xiv-xvi. 

J. Payer, " ISTew Lands within the Arctic Circle," 1876, vol. i, pp. 
3-14. 

W. S. Bruce, "Polar Exploration" in Home University Library, 
c. 1911, pp. 54-71. 

Eeference should also be made to the annual publication of the 
Danish Meteorological Institute showing the Arctic ice conditions 
of the previous summer. This is published in both Danish and 
English, so that the terms used there are bound to have a very wide 
acceptance; it is hoped, therefore, that they may be the means of 
preventing the Antarctic terminology following a different line of 
evolution ; for but seldom is a seaman found nowadays who knows both 
Polar regions. On the Danish charts six different kinds of sea-ice 
are marked, namely: unbroken polar ice; land floe; great ice fields; 



352 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

tight pack-ice; open ice; bay-ice and brash. With the exception of 
bay-ice, which is more generally known as young ice, all these terms 
pass current in the Antarctic. 

Slush, or Sludge. The initial stages in the freezing of sea-water, 
when its consistency becomes gluey or soupy. The term is also used 
(but not commonly) for brash-ice still farther broken down. 

Pancake Ice. Small circular floes with raised rims; due to the 
break-up in a gently ruffled sea of the newly formed ice into pieces 
which strike against each other, and so form turned-up edges. 

Young Ice. Applied to all unhummocked ice up to about a foot 
in thickness. Owing to the fibrous or platy structure, the floes crack 
easily, and where the ice is not over thick a ship under steam cuts a 
passage without much difficulty. Young ice may originate from the 
coalescence of " pancakes," where the water is slightly ruffled ; or else 
be a sheet of "black-ice," covered maybe with "ice-flowers," formed 
by the freezing of a smooth sheet of sea-water. 

In the Arctic it has been the custom to call this form of ice " bay- 
ice " ; in the Antarctic, however, the latter term is wrongly used for 
land-floes (fast-ice, etc.), and has been so misapplied consistently 
for flfteen years. The term bay-ice should possibly, therefore, be 
dropped altogether, especially since, even in the Arctic, its meaning 
is not altogether a rigid one, as it may denote firstly the gluey 
" slush," which forms when sea-water freezes, and secondly the firm, 
level sheet ultimately produced. 

Land-Floes. Heavy but not necessarily hummocked ice, with gen- 
erally a deep snow covering, which has remained held up in the posi- 
tion of growth by the enclosing nature of some feature of the coast, 
or by grounded bergs throughout the summer season when most of 
the ice breaks out. Its thickness is, therefore, above the average. 
Has been called at various times " fast-ice," " coast-ice," " land-ice," 
" bay-ice " by Shackleton and David and the Charcot Expedition ; and 
possibly what Drygalski calls schelfeis is not very difl:erent. 

Floe. An area of ice, level or hummocked, whose limits are within 
sight. Includes all sizes between brash on the one hand and fields on 
the other. " Light-floes " are between one and two feet in thick- 
ness (anything thinner being "young-ice"). Those exceeding two 
feet in thickness are termed "heavy floes," being generally hum- 
mocked, and in the Antarctic, at any rate, covered by fairly deep 
snow. 

Field. A sheet of ice of such extent that its limits cannot be 
seen from the masthead. 

Hummoclcing . Includes all the processes of pressure formation 
whereby level young ice becomes broken up and built up into 



APPENDIX 353 

Hwrnmochy Floes. The most suitable term for what has also been 
called " old pack," " screwed pack " by David, and Scholleneis by 
German writers. In contrast to young ice, the structure is no longer 
fibrous, but becomes spotted or bubbly, a certain percentage of salt 
drains away, and the ice becomes almost translucent. 

The Pack is a term very often used in a wide sense to include any 
area of sea-ice, no matter what form it takes or how disposed. The 
French term is banquise de derive. 

Pack-ice. A more restricted use than the above, to include hum- 
mocky floes or close areas of young ice and light floes. Pack-ice is 
" close " or " tight " if the floes constituting it are in contact ; " open " 
if, for the most part, they do not touch. In both cases it hinders, 
but does not necessarily check, navigation; the contrary holds for 

Drift-ice. Loose open ice, where the area of water exceeds that 
of ice. Generally drift-ice is within reach of the swell, and is a stage 
in the breaking down of pack-ice, the size of the floes being much 
smaller than in the latter. (Scoresby's use of the term drift-ice for 
pieces of ice intermediate in size between floes and brash has, how- 
ever, quite died out.) The Antarctic or Arctic pack usually has a 
girdle or fringe of drift-ice. 

Brash. Small fragments and roundish nodules; the wreck of 
other kinds of ice. 

Bergy Bits. Pieces, about the size of a cottage, of glacier-ice or 
of hummocky pack washed "clear of snow. 

Growlers. Still smaller pieces of sea-ice than the above, greenish 
in colour, and barely showing above water-level. 

Crack. Any sort of fracture or rift in the sea-ice covering. 

Lead Lane. Where a crack opens out to such a width as to be 
navigable. In the Antarctic it is customary to speak of these as 
leads, even when frozen over to constitute areas of young ice. 

Pools. Any enclosed water areas in the pack, where length and 
breadth are about equal. 



MBTBOEOLOGY 

By L. D. A. HussET, B.Sc, (Lend.), Capt. E.G. A. 

The meteorological results of the Expedition, when properly worked 
out and correlated with those from other stations in the southern 
hemisphere, will be extremely valuable, both for their bearing on 
the science of meteorology in general, and for their practical and 
economic applications. 



354 CEOSSII^G THE SOUTH POLE 

South America is, perhaps, more intimately concerned than any 
other country, but Australia, JSTew Zealand, and South Africa are 
all affected by the weather conditions of the Antarctic. Eesearches 
are now being carried on which tend to show that the meteorology 
of the two hemispheres is more inter-dependent than was hitherto 
believed, so that a meteorological disturbance in one part of the world 
makes its presence felt, more or less remotely perhaps, all over the 
world. 

It is evident, therefore, that a complete knowledge of the weather 
conditions in any part of the world, which it is understood carries 
with it the ability to make correct forecasts, can never be obtained 
unless the weather conditions in every other part are known. This 
makes the need for purely scientific Polar Expeditions so imperative, 
since our present knowledge of Arctic and Antarctic meteorology is 
very meagre, and to a certain extent, unsystematic. What is wanted 
is a chain of observing stations well equipped with instruments and 
trained observers stretching across the Antarctic Continent. A series 
of exploring ships could supplement these observations with others 
made by them while cruising in the Antarctic Seas. It would pay to 
do this, even for the benefit accruing to farmers, sailors, and others 
who are so dependent on the weather. 

As an instance of the value of a knowledge of Antarctic weather 
conditions, it may be mentioned that, as the result of observations 
and researches carried out at the South Orkneys — a group of sub- 
Antarctic islands at the entrance to the Weddell Sea — it has been 
found that a cold winter in that sea is a sure precursor of a drought 
over the maize and cereal bearing area of Argentina three and a half 
years later. To the farmers, the value of this knowledge so far in 
advance is enormous, and since England has some three hundred 
million pounds sterling invested in Argentine interests, Antarctic 
Expeditions have proved, and will prove, their worth even from a 
purely commercial point of view. 

I have given Just this one instance to satisfy those who question 
the utility of Polar Expeditions, but many more could be cited. 

As soon as it was apparent that no landing could be made, and 
that we should have to spend a winter in the ship drifting round 
with the pack, instruments were set up and observations taken just 
as if we had been ashore. 

A meteorological screen or box was erected on a platform over the 
stern, right away from the living quarters, and in it were placed 
the maximum and minimum thermometers, the recording barograph, 
and thermograph — an instrument which writes every variation of 
the temperature and pressure on a sheet of paper on a revolving drum 



APPENDIX 355 

— and the standard thermometer, a very carefully manufactured ther- 
mometer, with all its errors determined and tabulated. The other 
thermometers were all cheeked from this one. On top of the screen 
a Eobinson's anemometer was screwed. This consisted of an upright 
rod, to the top of which were pivoted four arms free to revolve in a 
plane at right angles to it. At the end of these arms hemispherical 
cups were screwed. These were caught by the wind, and the arms 
revolved at a speed varying with the force of the wind. The speed 
of the wind could be read off on a dial below the arms. 

In addition there .was an instrument called a Dines anemometer, 
which supplied interesting tracings of the force, duration, and direc- 
tion of the wind. There was an added advantage in the fact that the 
drum on which these results were recorded was comfortably housed 
down below, so that one could sit in a comparatively warm room, 
and follow all the varying phases of the blizzard which was raging 
without. The barometer used was of the Kew Standard pattern. 
When the ship was crushed, all the monthly records were saved, 
but the detailed tracings, which had been packed up in the hold, 
were lost. Though interesting they were not really essential. Con- 
tinuous observations were made during the long drift on the floe, 
and while on Elephant Island the temperature was taken at mid- 
day each day as long as the thermometers lasted. The mortality 
amongst these instruments, especially those which were tied to a 
string and swung round, was very high. 

A few extracts from the observations taken during 1915 — the 
series for that year being practically complete — may be of interest. 
January was dull and overcast, only 7 per cent, of the observations 
recording a clear blue sky, 71 per cent, being completely overcast. 

The percentage of clear sky increased steadily up till June and 
July, these months showing respectively 43 per cent, and 45.7 per 
cent. In August 40 per cent, of the observations were clear sky, 
while September showed a sudden drop to 27 per cent. October 
weather was much the same, and November was practically over- 
cast the whole time, clear sky showing at only 8 per cent, of the 
observations. In December the sky was completely overcast for nearly 
90 per cent, of the time. 

Temperatures on the whole were fairly high, though a sudden un- 
expected drop in February, after a series of heavy north-easterly 
gales, caused the ship to be frozen in, and effectually put an end to 
any hopes of landing that year. The lowest temperature experienced 
was in July, when — 35° Fahr., i.e. 67° below freezing, was reached. 
Fortunately, as the sea was one mass of consolidated pack, the air 
was dry, and many days of fine bright sunshine occurred. Later on. 



356 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

as the pack drifted northwards and broke up, wide lanes of water 
were formed, causing fogs and mist and dull overcast weather gen- 
erally. In short it may be said that in the Weddell Sea, the best 
weather comes in winter. Unfortunately during that season the 
sun also disappears, so that one cannot enjoy it as much as one would 
like. 

As a rule, too, southerly winds brought fine clear weather, with 
marked fall in the temperature, and those from the north were 
accompanied by mist, fog, and overcast skies, with comparatively 
high temperatures. In the Antarctic a temperature of 30°, i.e. 2° 
helow freezing, is considered unbearably hot. 

The greatest difficulty that was experienced was due to the accumu- 
lation of rime on the instruments. In low temperatures everything 
became covered with ice-crystals, deposited from the air, which eventu- 
ally grew into huge blocks. Sometimes these blocks became dis- 
lodged and fell, making it dangerous to walk along the decks. The 
rime collected on the thermometers, the glass bowl of the sunshine 
recorder, and the bearings of the anemometer, necessitating the fre- 
quent use of a brush to remove it, and sometimes effectively prevent- 
ing the instruments from recording at all. 

One of our worst blizzards occurred on August 1, 1915, which was, 
for the ship, the beginning of the end. It lasted for four days, 
with cloudy and overcast weather for the three following days, and 
from that time onwards we enjoyed very little sun. 

The weather that we experienced on Elephant Island can only 
be described as appalling. Situated as we were at the mouth of a 
gully, down which a huge glacier was slowly moving, with the open 
sea in front and to the left, and towering, snow-covered, mountains 
on our right, the air was hardly ever free from snowdrift, and the 
winds increased to terrific violence through being forced over the 
glacier and through the narrow gully. Huge blocks of ice were 
hurled about like pebbles, and cases of clothing and cooking utensils 
were whisked out of our hands and carried away to sea. For the 
first fortnight after our landing there, the gale blew, at times, at over 
one hundred miles an hour. Fortunately it never again quite reached 
that intensity, but on several occasions violent squalls made us very 
fearful for the safety of our hut. The island was almost continuously 
covered with a pall of fog and snow, clear weather obtaining occa- 
sionally when pack-ice surrounded us. Fortunately a series of south- 
westerly gales had blown all the ice away to the northeast two days 
before the rescue ship arrived, leaving a comparatively clear sea for 
her to approach the island. 

Being one solitary moving station in the vast expanse of the "Wed- 




Pfi.otiifirapli by F Hurli'y 
THE ANEMOMETER COVERED WITH iUME 



APPENDIX 357 

dell Sea, with no knowledge of what was happening anywhere around 
us, forecasting was very diflacult, and at times impossible. Great 
assistance in this direction was afforded by copies of Mr. E. C. Moss- 
mann's researches and papers on Antarctic meteorology, which he 
kindly supplied to us. 

I have tried to make this very brief account of the meteorological 
side of the Expedition rather more " popular " than scientific, since 
the publication and scientific discussion of the observations wUl be 
carried out elsewhere; but if, while showing the difficulties under 
which we had to work, it emphasizes the value of Antarctic Ex- 
peditions from a purely utilitarian point of view, and the need for 
further continuous research into the conditions obtaining in the 
immediate neighbourhood of the Pole, it will have achieved its object. 



PHYSICS 

By E. W. James, M.A. (Cantab.), B.Sc. (Lond.), Capt. E.E. 

OvriNG to the continued drift of the ship with the ice, the programme 
of physical observations originally made out had to be considerably 
modified. It had been intended to set up recording magnetic in- 
struments at the base, and to take a continuous series of records 
throughout the whole period of residence there, absolute measure- 
ments of the earth's horizontal magnetic force, of the dip and dec- 
lination being taken at frequent intervals for purposes of calibra- 
tion. With the ice continually drifting, and the possibility of the 
floe cracking at any time, it proved impracticable to set up the re- 
cording instrumente, and the magnetic observations were confined 
to a series of absolute measurements taken whenever opportunity 
occurred. These measurements, owing to the drift of the ship, ex- 
tend over a considerable distance, and give a chain of values along a 
line stretching roughly from 77° S. lat. to 69° S. lat. This is not the 
place to give the actual results; it is quite enough to state that, as 
might have been expected from the position of the magnetic pole, 
the values obtained correspond to a comparatively low magnetic 
latitude, the value of the dip ranging from 63° to 68°. 

So far as possible, continuous records of the electric potential 
gradient in the atmosphere were taken, a form of quadrant electro- 
meter with a boom, and ink recorder, made by the Cambridge Scientific 
Instrument Company being employed. Here again, the somewhat 
peculiar eo^i&tions made work difficult, as the instrument was very 
susceptible to small changes of level, such as occurred from time to 



358 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

time owing to the pressure of the ice on the ship. An ionium col- 
lector, for which the radioactive material was kindly supplied by Mr. 
P. H. Glew, was used. The chief diflBculty to contend with was the 
constant formation of thick deposits of rime, which either grew over 
the insulation and spoiled it, or covered up the collector so that 
it could no longer act. Nevertheless, a considerable number of good 
records were obtained, which have not yet been properly worked out. 

Conditions during the Expedition were very favourable for ob- 
servations on the physical properties and natural history of sea-ice, 
and a considerable number of results were obtained, which are, how- 
ever, discussed elsewhere, mention of them being made here since they 
really come under the heading of physics. 

In addition to these main lines of work, many observations of 
a miscellaneous character were made, including those on the occur- 
rence and nature of parhelia or " mock suns," which were very com- 
mon, and generally finely developed, and observations of the auroral 
displays, which were few and rather poor owing to the comparatively 
low magnetic latitude. Since most of the observations made are of 
little value without a knowledge of the place where they were made, 
and since a very complete set of soundings were also taken, the daily 
determination of the ship's position was a matter of some importance. 
The drift of the ship throws considerable light on at least one geo- 
graphical problem, that of the existence of Morrell Land. The re- 
mainder of this appendix will therefore be devoted to a discussion 
of the methods used to determine the position of the ship from day to 
day. 

The latitude and longitude were determined astronomically every 
day when the sun or stars were visible, the position thus determined 
serving as the fixed points between which the position on days when 
the sky was overcast could be interpolated by the process known as 
" dead reckoning," that is to say, by estimating the speed and course 
of the ship, taking into account the various causes affecting it. The 
sky was often overcast for several days at a stretch, and it was worth 
while to take a certain amount of care in the matter. Captain 
Worsley constructed an apparatus which gave a good idea of the 
direction of drift at any time. This consisted of an iron rod, which 
passed through an iron tube, frozen vertically into the ice, into the 
water below. At the lower end of the rod, in the water, was a vane. 
The rod being free to turn, the vane took up the direction of the 
current, the direction being shown by an indicator attached to the 
top of the rod. The direction shown depended, of course, on the 
drift of the ice relative to the water, and did not take into account 
any actual current which may have been carrying the ice with it, 



APPENDIX 359 

but the true current seems never to have been large, and the direction 
of the vane probably gave fairly accurately the direction of the drift of 
the ice. No exact idea of the rate of drift could be obtained from 
the apparatus, although one could get an estimate of it by displacing 
the vane from its position of rest and noticing how quickly it returned 
to it, the speed of return being greater the more rapid the drift. 
Another means of estimating the speed and direction of the drift was 
from the trend of the wire when a sounding was being taken. The 
rate and direction of drift appeared to depend almost entirely on the 
wind-velocity and direction at the time. If any true current-effect 
existed, it is not obvious from a rough comparison of the drift with the 
prevailing wind, but a closer investigation of the figures may show 
some outstanding effect due to current.* The drift was always to the 
left of the actual wind direction. This effect is due to the rotation 
of the earth, a corresponding deviation to the right of the wind- 
direction being noted by Nansen during the drift of the Fram. A 
change in the direction of the wind was often preceded by some hours 
by a change in the reading of the drift vane. This is no doubt due 
to the ice to windward being set in motion, the resulting disturbance 
travelling through the ice more rapidly than the approaching wind. 

For the astronomical observations either the sextant or a theodolite 
was used. The theodolite employed was a light 3" Vernier instru- 
ment by Carey Porter, intended for sledging work. This instrument 
was fairly satisfactory, although possibly rigidity had been sacrificed 
to lightness to rather too great an extent. Another point which 
appears worth mentioning, is the following. The foot screws were of 
brass, the tribrach, into which they fitted, was made of aluminium 
for the sake of lightness. The two metals have a different coefficient 
of expansion, and while the feet fitted the tribrach at ordinary 
temperatures, they were quite loose at temperatures in the region of 
20° Fahr. below zero. In any instrument designed for use at low 
temperatures, care should be taken that parts which have to fit to- 
gether are made of the same material. 

For determining the position in drifting pack-ice, the theodolite 
proved to be a more generally useful instrument than the sextant. 
The ice floes are quite steady in really thick pack-ice, and the theod- 
olite can be set up and levelled as well as on dry land. The observa- 
tions, both for latitude and longitude, consist in measuring the altitude 
of the sun or of a star. The chief uncertainty in this measurement 
is that introduced by the refraction of light by the air. At very 
low temperatures, the correction to be applied on this account is 

• Cf. " Scientific Results of Norwegian North Polar Expedition, 1893-96," 
vol. iii, p. 357. 



360 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

uncertain, and, if possible, observations should always be made in pairs 
with a north star and a south star for latitude, and an east star 
and a west star for a longitude. The refraction error will then usually 
mean out. This error affects observations both with the theodolite 
and the sextant, but in the case of the sextant, another cause of 
error occurs. In using the sextant, the angle between the heavenly 
body and the visible horizon is measured directly. Even in dense 
pack-ice, if the observations are taken from the deck of the ship, or 
from a hummock or a low berg, the apparent horizon is usually sharp 
enough for the purpose. In very cold weather, however, and par- 
ticularly if there are open leads and pools between the observer and 
the horizon, there is frequently a great deal of mirage, and the visible 
horizon may be miraged up several minutes. This will reduce the 
altitude observed, and corrections on this account are practically im- 
possible to apply. This error may be counterbalanced to some extent 
by pairing observations as described above, but it by no means follows 
that the mirage effect will be the same in the two directions. Then 
again, during the summer months, no stars will be visible, and 
observations for latitude will have to depend on a single noon sight 
of the sun. If the sun is visible at midnight its altitude will be too 
low for accurate observations, and in any case, atmospheric conditions 
will be quite different from those prevailing at noon. In the Ant- 
arctic, therefore, conditions are peculiarly difScult for getting really 
accurate observations, and it is necessary to reduce the probability of 
error in a single observation as much as possible. When possible, 
observations of the altitude of a star or of the sun should be taken 
with the theodolite, since the altitude is referred to the spirit level 
of the instrument, and is independent of any apparent horizon. Dur- 
ing the drift of the Endurance, both means of observation were gen- 
erally employed. A comparison of the results showed an agreement 
between sextant and theodolite within the errors of the instrument 
if the temperature was above about 20° Fahr. At lower tempera- 
tures there were frequently discrepancies which could generally be 
attributed to the mirage effects described above. 

As the Endurance was carried by the ice drift well to the west of 
the Weddell Sea, towards the position of the supposed Morrell Land, 
the accurate determination of longitude became a matter of moment, 
in view of the controversy as to the existence of this land. During 
a long voyage, latitude can always be determined with about the same 
accuracy, the accuracy merely depending on the closeness with which 
altitudes can be measured. In the case of longitude matters are 
rather different. The usual method employed consists in the de- 
termination of the local time by astronomical observations, and the 



APPENDIX 361 

comparison of this time with Greenwich time, as shown by the ship's 
chronometer, an accurate knowledge of the errors and rate of the 
chronometer being required. During the voyage of the Endurance 
about fifteen months elapsed during which no check on the chronom- 
eters could be obtained by the observation of known land, and had 
no other check been applied, there would have been the probability 
of large errors in the longitudes. For the purpose of checking the 
chronometers a number of observations of occultations were observed 
during the winter of 1915. An occultation is really the eclipse of a 
star by the moon. A number of such eclipses occur monthly, and are 
tabulated in the Nautical Almanac. Prom the data given there, it 
is possible to compute the Greenwich time at which the phenomenon 
ought to occur for an observer situated at any place on the earth, 
provided his position is known within a few miles, which will always 
be the case. The time of disappearance of the star by the chronom- 
eter to be corrected is noted. The actual Greenwich time of the 
occurrence is calculated, and the error of the chronometer is thus de- 
termined. With ordinary care, the chronometer error can be de- 
termined in this way to within a few seconds, which is accurate 
enough for purposes of navigation. The principal difBculties of this 
method lie in the fact that comparatively few occultations occur, and 
those which do occur are usually of stars of the iifth magnitude or 
lower. In the Antarctic, conditions for observing occultation are 
rather favourable during the winter, since fifth-magnitude stars can 
be seen with a small telescope at any time during the twenty-four 
hours if the sky is clear, and moon is also often above the horizon 
for a large fraction of the time. In the summer, however, the method 
is quite impossible since, for some months, stars are not to be seen. 
No chronometer check could be applied until June, 1915. On June 34 
a series of four occultations were observed, and the results of the 
observations showed an error in longitude of a whole degree. In 
July, August, and September further occultations were observed, and 
a fairly reliable rate was worked out for the chronometers and watches. 
After the crushing of the ship on October 27, 1915, no further 
occultations were observed, but the calculated rates for the watches 
were employed, and the longitude deduced, using these rates oa 
March 23, 1916, was only about 10' of arg in error, judging by the 
observations of Joinville Land made on that day. It is thus fairly 
certain that no large error can have been made in the determination 
of the position of the Endurance at any time during the drift, and her 
course can be taken as known with greater certainty than is usually 
the case in a voyage of such length. 



362 CKOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

SOUTH ATLANTIC WHALES AND WHALING 

By Egbert S. Claek, M.A., B.Sc, Lieut. E.N.V.E. 

Modern whaling methods were introduced into sub-Antarctic seas 
in 1904, and operations commenced in the following year at South 
Georgia. So successful was the initial venture that several com- 
panies were floated, and the fishing area was extended to the South 
Shetlands, the South Orkneys, and as far as 67° S. along the western 
coast of Graham Land. This area lies within the Dependencies of 
the Falkland Islands, and is under the control of the British Govern- 
ment, and its geographical position offers exceptional opportunities 
for the successful prosecution of the industry by providing a suf- 
ficient number of safe anchorages and widely separated islands, where 
shore stations have been established. The Dependencies of the Falk- 
land Islands lie roughly within latitude 50° and 65° S. and longitude 
25° and 70° W., and include the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, 
South Sandwich, South Orkney, and South Shetland Islands, and 
part of Graham Land. 

The industry is prosperous, and the products always find a ready 
market. In this sub-Antarctic area alone, the resulting products 
more than doubled the world's supply. The total value of the Falk- 
land Island Dependencies in 1913 amounted to £1,252,433, in 1914 
to £1,300,978, in 1915 to £1,333,401, and in 1916 to £1,774,570. 
This has resulted chiefly from the marketing of whale oil and the b]'- 
product, guano, and represents for each total a season's capture of 
several thousand whales. In 1916, the number of whales captured in 
this area was 11,860, which included 6000 from South Georgia alone. 
Whale oil, which is now the product of most economic value in the 
whaling industry, is produced in four grades (some companies adding 
a fifth). These are Nos. 0, I, II, III, IV, which in 1913 sold at £34, 
£32, £20, and £18 respectively per ton, net weight, barrels included 
(there are six barrels to a ton). The 1919 prices have increased to 

£73 10s. per ton (barrels included) less 2% per cent. 
£68 per ton (barrels included) less 3% per cent. 
£65 " " " " " " " 

£63 " " " " " " " 

Whale oil can be readily transformed into glycerine: it is used 
in the manufacture of soap and, quite recently, both in this country 



APPEl^DIX 363 

and in Norway, it has been refined by means of a simple hardening 
process into a highly palatable and mitritioiis margarine. "War-time 
conditions emphasized the importance of the whale oil, and fortu- 
nately the supply was fairly constant, for the production of the 
enormous quantities of glycerine required by the country in the 
manufacture of explosives. In relation to the food supply, it was no 
less important iu saving the country from a " fat " famine, when the 
country was confronted with the shortage of vegetable and other 
animal oils. The production of guano, bone-meal, and flesh meal 
may pay oil the running expenses of a whaling station, but their 
value Hes, perhaps, more in their individual properties. Flesh meal 
makes up into cattle-cake, which forms an excellent fattening food 
for cattle, while bone-meal and guano are very effective fertilizers. 
Guano is the meat — generally the residue of distillation — which 
goes through a process of drying and disintegration, and is mixed 
with the crushed bone in the proportion of two parts flesh to one 
part bone. This is done chiefly at the shore stations, and to a less 
extent on floating factories, though so far on the latter it has not 
proved very profitable. Whale flesh, though slightly greasy perhaps, 
and of strong flavour, is quite palatable, and at South Georgia it 
made a welcome addition to our bill of fare — the flesh of the hump- 
back being used. A large supply of whale flesh was " shipped " as 
food for the dogs on the journey south, and this was eaten raven- 
ously. It is interesting to note also the successful rearing of pigs 
at South Georgia — chiefly, if not entirely, on the whale products. 
The whalebone or baleen plates, which at one time formed the 
most valuable article of the Arctic fishery, may here be regarded 
as of secondary importance. The baleen plates of the southern 
right whale reach only a length of circa 7 feet, and have been valued 
at £750 per ton, but the number of these whales captured is very 
small indeed. In the case of the other whalebone whales, the baleen 
plates are much smaller and of inferior quality — the baleen of the 
sei-whale probably excepted, and this only makes about £85 per ton. 
Sperm whales have been taken at South Georgia and the South 
Shetlands, but never in any quantity, being more numerous in 
warmer seas. The products and their value are too well known to be 
repeated. 

The Undnirance reached South Georgia on November 5, 1914, 
and anchored in King Edward Cove, Cumberland Bay, off Grytviken, 
the shore station of the Argentina Pesca Company. During the 
month's stay at the island, a considerable amount of time was de- 
voted to a study of the whales and the whaling industry, in the inter- 



364 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

vals of the general routine of expedition work, and simultaneoiisly 
with other studies on the general life of this interesting sub-Antarctic 
island. Visits were made to six of the seven existing stations, 
observations were made on the whales landed, and useful insight was 
gathered as to the general working of the industry. 

Prom South Georgia the track of the Endurance lay in a direct 
line to the South Sandwich Group, between Saunders and Candlemas 
Islands. Then south-easterly and southerly courses were steered 
to the Coats Land barrier, along which we steamed for a few hundred 
miles until forced westward, when we were unfortunately held up in 
about lat. 76° 34' S. and long. 37° 30' W. in January 19, 1915, by 
enormous masses of heavy pack-ice. The ship drifted to lat. 76° 59' 
S., long. 37° 47' W. on March 19, 1915, and then west and north until 
crushed in lat. 69° 5' S. and long. 51° 30' W. on October 36, 1915. 
We continued drifting gradually north, afloat on ice-floes, past Graham 
Land and Joinville Island, and finally took to the boats on April 
9, 1916, and reached Elephant Island on April 15. The Falkland 
Island Dependencies were thus practically circumnavigated, and it 
may be interesting to compare the records of whales seen in the region 
outside and to the south of this area with the records and the per- 
centage of each species captured in the intensive fishing area. 

The most productive part of the South Atlantic lies south of 
latitude 50° S. where active operations extend to and even beyond 
the Antarctic circle. It appears to be the general rule in Antarctic 
waters that whales are more numerous the closer the association 
with ice conditions, and there seems to be reasonable grounds for 
supposing that this may explain the comparatively few whales sighted 
by expeditions which have explored the more northerly and more 
open seas, while the whalers themselves have even asserted that their 
poor seasons have nearly always coincided with the absence of ice, 
or with poor ice conditions. At all events, those expeditions, which 
have penetrated far south and well into the pack-ice, have, without 
exception, reported the presence of whales in large numbers, even in 
the farthest south latitudes, so that our knowledge of the occurrence 
of whales in the Antarctic has been largely derived from these 
expeditions, whose main object was either the discovery of new land 
or the Pole itself. The largest number of Antarctic expeditions has 
concentrated on the two areas of the South Atlantic and the Eoss 
Sea, and the records of the occurrences of whales have, in conse- 
quence, been concentrated in these two localities. In the intervening 
areas, however, expeditions, notably the Belgica on the western side 
and the Gcmss on the eastern side of the Antarctic continent, have 



APPENDIX 365 

reported whales in moderately large numbers, so that the stock is 
by no means confined to the two areas above mentioned. 

The efEective fishing area may be assumed to lie within a radius 
of a hundred miles from each shore station and floating factory 
anchorage, and a rough estimate of all the Falkland stations works 
out at 160,000 square miles. The total for the whole Falkland area 
is about 3,000,000 square miles, which is roughly less than a sixth 
of the total Antarctic sea area. The question then arises as to how 
far the " catch percentage " during the short fishing season affects 
the total stock, but so far, one can only conjecture as to the actual 
results from a comparison of the numbers seen, chiefly by scientific 
and other expeditions, in areas outside the intensive fishing area 
with the numbers and percentage of each species captured in the 
intensive fishing area. Sufiicient evidence, however, seems to point 
quite definitely to one species — the humpback — being in danger of 
extermination, but the blue and fin whales — the other two species 
of rorquals which form the bulk of the captures — appear to be as 
frequent now as they have ever been. 

The whales captured at the various whaling stations of the Falk- 
land area are confined largely to three species — blue whale {Balcenop- 
tera musculus), fin whale (Balwnoptera physalis) and humpback 
(Megaptera nodosa) ; sperm whales (Physeter catodon) and right 
whales (Balcena glacialis) being only occasional and rare captures, 
while the sei whale {Balanoptera horealis) appeared in the captures 
at South Georgia in 1913, and now forms a large percentage of the 
captures at the Falkland Islands. During the earlier years of whaling 
at South Georgia, and up to the fishing season 1910-11, humpbacks 
formed practically the total catch. In 1912-13 the following were 
the percentages for the three rorquals in the captures at South Georgia 
and South Shetlands: 

Humpback 38 per cent., fin whale 36 per cent., blue whale 30 per 
cent. Of late years the percentages have altered considerably, blue 
whales and fin whales predominating, humpbacks decreasing rapidly. 
In 1915, the South Georgia Whaling Company (Messrs. Salvesen, 
Leith) captured 1085 whales, consisting of 15 per cent, humpback, 
25 per cent, fin whales, and 58 per cent, blue whales, and 2 right 
whales. In the same year the captures of three companies at the 
South Shetlands gave 1512 whales, and the percentages worked out at 
12 per cent, humpbacks, 42 per cent, fin whales, and 45 per cent, blue 
whales. In 1919, the Southern Whaling and Sealing Company cap- 
tured (at Stromness, South Georgia) 529 whales, of which 2 per cent. 
were humpbacks, 51 per cent, fin whales, and 45 per cent, blue whales. 



366 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

These captures do not represent the total catch, but are sufficiently 
reliable to show how the species are affected. The reduction in 
numbers of the humpback is very noticeable, and even allowing for 
the possible increase in size of gear for the capture of the larger and 
more lucrative blue and fin whales, there is sufficient evidence to 
warrant the fears that the humpback stock is threatened with ex- 
tinction. 

In the immediate northern areas — in the region from latitude 
50° S. northward to the equator, which is regarded as next in im- 
portance quantitatively to the sub-Antarctic, though nothing like 
being so productive, the captures are useful for a comparative study 
in distribution. At Saldanha Bay, Cape Colony, in 1913, 131 whales 
were captured and the percentages were as follows: 35 per cent, 
humpback, 13 per cent, fin whale, 4 per cent, blue whale, 46 per cent, 
sei whale, while nearer the equator, at Port Alexander, the total 
capture was 383 whales, and the percentages gave 98 per cent, 
humpback, and only 3 captures each of fin and sei whales. In 
1914, at South Africa (chiefly Saldanha Bay and Durban), out of 
a total of 839 whales 60 per cent, were humpback, 35 per cent, 
fin whales, and 13 per cent, blue whales. In 1916, out of a total of 
853 whales 10 per cent, were humpback, 13 per cent, fin whales, 
6 per cent, blue whales, 68 per cent, sperm whales, and 1 per cent, 
sei whales. In Chilian waters — in 1916, a total of 337 whales 
gave 31 per cent, humpbacks, 34 per cent, fin whales, 36 per cent, 
blue whales, 13 per cent, sperm whales, and 6 right whales. There 
seems then to be a definite inter-relation between the two areas. The 
same species of whales are captured, and the periods of capture alter- 
nate with perfect regularity, the fishing season occurring from the 
end of ISTovember to April in the sub-Antarctic, and from May to 
November in the sub-tropics. A few of the companies, however, 
carry on operations to a limited extent at South Georgia and at the 
Falkland Islands during the southern winter, but the fishing is by 
no means a profitable undertakins;, though proving the presence of 
whales in this area during the winter months. 

The migrations of whales are influenced by two causes : 

(1) The distribution of their food supply; 

(2) The position of their breeding-grounds. 

In the Antarctic, during the summer months, there is present in the 
sea an abundance of plant and animal life, and whales which feed on 



APPENDIX 367 

the small plankton organisms are correspondingly numerous, but 
in winter this state of things is reversed, and whales are poorly rep- 
resented or absent, at least in the higher latitudes. During the 
drift of the Endurance, samples of plankton were taken almost daily 
during an Antarctic summer and winter. From December to March, 
a few minutes' haul of a tow-net at the surface was sufficient to choke 
up the meshes with the plant and animal life, but this abundance 
of surface life broke off abruptly in April, and subsequent hauls 
contained very small organisms until the return of daylight and the 
opening up of the pack-ice. The lower water strata, down to circa 
100 fathoms, were only a little more productive, and Eupliausim 
were taken in the hauls -^ though sparingly. During the winter 
spent at Elephant Island, our total catch of Gentoo penguins amounted 
to 1436 for the period April 15 to August 30, 1916. All these birds 
were cut up, the livers and hearts were extracted for food, and the 
skins were used as fuel. At the same time the stomachs were invari- 
ably examined, and a record kept of the contents. The largest propor- 
tion of these contained the small crustacean Euphausia, and this 
generally to the exclusion of other forms. Occasionally, however, 
small fish were recorded. The quantity of Euphausice present in most 
of the stomachs was enormous for the size of the birds. These pen- 
guins were migrating, and came ashore only when the bays were clear 
of ice, as there were several periods of fourteen consecutive days when 
the bays and the surrounding sea were covered over with a thick 
compact mass of ice-floes, and then penguins were entirely absent. 
Euphausice, then, seem to be present in sufficient quantity in certain, 
if not in all, sub-Antarctic waters during the southern winter. We 
may assume then that the migration to the south, during the Antarctic 
summer, is definitely in search of food. Observations have proved the 
existence of a northern migration, and it seems highly improbable that 
this should also be in search of food, but rather for breeding purposes, 
and it seems that the whales select the more temperate regions for the 
bringing forth of their young. This view is strengthened by the 
statistical foetal records, which show that pairing takes place in the 
northern areas, that the fcEtus is carried by the mother during the 
southern migration to the Antarctic, and that the calves are born in 
the more congenial waters north of the sub-Antarctic area. We have 
still to prove, however, the possibility of a circumpolar migration, 
and we are quite in the dark as to the number of whales that remain 
in sub-Antarctic areas during the Southern winter. 

On page 368 is a rough classification of whales, with special refer- 
ence to those knovm to occur in the South Atlantic. 



368 



CEOSSIFG THE SOUTH POLE 

1. "Whalebone Whales (Mystacoceti) 



Eight whales (BalcenidcB) 

I 
Southern right whale 

{Balcena glacialis) 



Eorquals (BalwnopteridcB) 



Firmer whales 
(Balcenoptera) 



Humpback 
[Megaptera nodosa) 



Blue whale {B. musculus) 
Fin whale {B. physalus) 
Sei whale (B. horealis) 
Piked whale {B. acuto-rostrata) 
Bryde's whale {B. hrydei) 

2. Toothed Whales (Odontoceti) 

I \ 1 

Sperm whale Beaked whales Dolphins 

(Physeter catodon) (including bottlenose whales) (1) Killer 

{Hyperoodon rostratus) (Orcinus orca) 

(3) Black Fish 

(GlobicepJialtis melas) 

(3) Porpoises 

{Lagenorhynchus sp) 

The sub-division of whalebone whales is one of degree in the size 
of the whalebone. These whales have enormously muscular tongues, 
which press the water through the whalebone lamellae and thus, by a 
filtering process, retain the small food organisms. The food of the 
whalebone whales is largely the small Crustacea which occur in the 
plankton, though sorfie whales (humpback, fin whales, and sei whales) 
feed also on fish. The stomachs examined at South Georgia during 
December, 1914, belonged to the three species — ^h'umpbacks, fin 
whales, and blue whales, and all contained sraall Crustacea — Eupliau- 
sicB, with a mixture of amphipods. The toothed whales — sperms 
and bottlenoses — are known to live on squids, and that there is 
an abundance of this type of food in the Weddell Sea was proved 
by an examination of penguin and seal stomachs. Emperor penguins 
(and hundreds of these were examined) were invariably found to 
contain Cephalopod "beaks," while large, partly digested, squids 



APPENDIX 369 

were often observed in Weddell seals. A dorsal fin is present in the 
rorquals, but absent in right whales. With other characters, notably 
the size of the animal, it serves as a ready mark of identification, but 
is occasionally confusing owing to the variation in shape in some of 
the species. 

With the exception of several schools of porpoises, very few whales 
were seen during the outward voyage. Not till we approached the 
Falkland area did they appear in any numbers. Four small schools 
of fin whales, and a few humpbacks were sighted on October 28 and 
29, 1914, in lat. 38° 01' S., long. 56° 03' W. and in lat. 40° 35' S., 
long. 53° 11' W., while Globicephalus melas was seen only once, in 
lat. 45° 17' S., long. 48° 58' W., on October 31, 1914. At South 
Georgia, the whales captured at the various stations in December, 1914, 
were blue whales, fin whales, and humpbacks (arranged respectively 
according to numbers captured). During the fishing season 1914-]5 
(from December to March) in the area covered — South Georgia to 
the South Sandwich Islands, and along Coats Land to the head of the 
Weddell Sea, the records of whales were by no means numerous. Two 
records only could with certainty be assigned to the humpback, and 
these were in the neighbourhood of the South Sandwich Islands. 
Pack-ice was entered in lat. 59° 55' S., long. 18° 28' W., and 
blue whales were recorded daily until circa 65 S. Between lat. 65° 
43' S., long 17° 30' W. on December 27, 1914, and lat. 69° 59' 
S., long. 17° 31' W. on January 3, 1915, no whales were seen. 
On January 4, however, in lat. 69° 59' S., long. 17° 36' W., two 
large sperm whales appeared close ahead of the ship in fairly open 
water, and were making westward. They remained sufficiently long 
on the surface to render their identification easy. Farther south, 
blue whales were only seen occasionally, and fin whales could only 
be identified in one or two cases. Killers, however, were numerous, 
and the lesser piked whale was quite frequent. There was no doubt 
about the identity of this latter species, as it often came close alongside 
the ship. From April to September (inclusive) the sea was frozen 
over (with the exception of local "leads"), and whales were found 
to be absent. In October whales again made their appearance, and 
from then onwards they were a daily occurrence. Identification of 
the species, however, was a difScult matter, for the Endurance was 
crushed and had sunk, and observations were only possible from the 
ice-floe, or later on from the boats. The high vertical " spout " open- 
ing out into a dense spray was often visible, and denoted the presence 
of blue and fin whales. The lesser piked whale again appeared in 
the " leads " close to our " camp " floe, and was easily identified. An 
exceptional opportunity was presented to us on December 6, 1915, 



370 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

when a school of eight bottlenose whales {Hyperoodon rostratus) ap- 
peared in a small " pool " alongside " Ocean " camp in lat. 67° 47' S., 
long. 53° 18' W. These ranged from circa 20 feet to a little over 30 
feet in length, and were of a uniform dark dun colour — the large 
specimens having a dull yellow appearance. There were no white 
spots. At the edge of the pack-ice during the first half of April, 
1916, about lat. 62° S. and long. 54° W. (entrance to Bransfield 
Strait) whales were exceedingly numerous, and these were chiefly 
fin whales, though a few seemed to be sei whales. It is interesting 
to note that the fishing season 1915-1916 was exceptionally productive 
— no less than 11,860 whales having been captured in the Falkland 
area alone. 

The South Atlantic whaling industry, then, has reached a critical 
stage in development. It is now dependent on the captures of the 
large fin and blue whales, humpbacks having been rapidly reduced 
in numbers, so that the total stock appears to have been affected. 
With regard to the other species, the southern right whale has never 
been abundant in the captures, the sperm whale and the sei whale 
have shown a good deal of seasonal variation, though never numerous, 
and the bottlenose and lesser piked whale have so far not been 
hunted, except in the case of the latter for human food. The vigorous 
slaughter of whales both in the sub-Antarctic and in the sub-tropics, 
for the one area reacts on the other, calls for universal legislation to 
protect the whales from early commercial extinction, and the industry, 
which is of world-wide economic importance, from having to be aban- 
doned. The British Government, with the control of the world's 
best fisheries, is thoroughly alive to the situation, and an Inter-depart- 
mental Committee, under the direction of the Colonial Office, is at 
present devising a workable scheme for suitable legislation for the 
protection of the whales, and for the welfare of the industry. 



APPENDIX II 

THE EXPEDITIOlSr HUTS AT MoMUEDO SOUND 

By SiE E. H. Shackleton 

The following notes are designed for the benefit of future explorers 
who may make McMurdo Sound a base for inland operations, and 
to clear any inaccuracies or ambiguities concerning the history, 
occupation, and state of these huts. 

(1) The National Antarctic Expedition's Hdt at Hut Point 
— THE Head of McMurdo Sound 

This hut was constructed by Captain Scott in 1903, by the Expedi- 
tion sent out by the Eoyal Geographical Society, the Eoyal Society, the 
Government, and by private subscription. Captain Eobert F. Scott 
was appointed to the command of the Expedition. I served as third 
Lieutenant until February, 1903, when I was invalided home through 
a broken blood vessel in the lungs, the direct result of scurvy con- 
tracted on the Southern journey. The Discovery hut was a large, 
strong building, but was so draughty and cold in comparison with the 
ship, which was moored one hundred yards away, that it was, during 
the first year, never used for living quarters. Its sole use was as 
a storehouse, and a large supply of rough stores, such as flour, cocoa, 
coffee, biscuit, and tinned meat, was left there in the event of its 
being used as a place of retreat should any disaster overtake the 
ship. During the second year occasional parties camped inside the 
hut, but no bunks or permanent sleeping quarters were ever erected. 
The discomfort of the hut was a byword on the Expedition, but it 
formed an excellent depot and starting-point for all parties proceeding 
to the south. 

When the Discovery finally left McMurdo Sound, the hut was 

stripped of all gear, including the stove, but there was left behind a 

large depot of the. stores mentioned above. I was not aware of this 

until I returned to McMurdo Sound in February, 1908, when I sent 

Adams, Joyce, and "Wild across to the hut whilst the Nimrod was 

Iving off the ice. 
^ ^ 371 



372 CEOSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

On tLe return of the party they reported that the door had been 
burst open, evidently by a southerly blizzard, and was jammed by 
snow outside and in, so they made an entrance through one of the 
lee windows. They found the hut practically clear of snow, and the 
structure quite intact. I used the hut in the spring, i.e. September 
and October, 1908, as a storehouse for the large amount of equip- 
ment, food, and oil that we were to take on the Southern journey. 
We built a sort of living-room out of the cases of provisions, and 
swept out the debris. The Southern Party elected to sleep there 
before the start, but the supporting party slept outside in the tents, 
as they considered it warmer. 

We still continued to use the lee window as means of ingress and 
egress to avoid continual shovelling away of the snow, which would be 
necessary as every southerly blizzard blocked up the main entrance. 
The various depot parties made use of the hut for replenishing their 
stores, which had been sledged from my own hut to Hut Point. 
On the night of March 3, 1909, I arrived with the Southern Party, 
with a sick man, having been absent on the march 138 days. Our 
position was bad, as the ship was north of us. We tried to burn the 
Magnetic Hut in the hope of attracting attention from the ship, 
but were not able to get it to light. We finally managed to light a 
flare of carbide, and the ship came down to us in a blizzard, and all 
were safely aboard at 1 a. m. on March 4, 1909. Before leaving the 
hut we jammed the window up with baulks of timber, to the best of our 
ability, in the storm and darkness. The hut was used again by the 
Eoss Sea Section of this last Expedition. The snow was cleared out 
and extra stores were placed in it. From reports I have received, 
the Discovery Hut was in as good condition in 1917 as it was in 1903. 
The stores placed there in 1903 are intact. There are a few cases 
of extra provisions and oil in the hut, but no sleeping gear, or ac- 
commodation, nor stoves, and it must not be looked upon as any- 
thing else than a shelter and a most useful pied-a-terre for the start 
of any Southern journey. No stores nor any equipment have been 
taken from it during either of my two Expeditions. 

(3) Cape Eotds Hut 

For several reasons, when I went into McMurdo Sound in 1908 
in command of my own Expedition, known as the British Antarctic 
Expedition, after having failed to land on King Edward VII Land, 
I decided to build our hut at Cape Eoyds — a small promontory 
twenty-three miles north of Hut Point. Here the whole shore party 
lived in comfort through the winter of 1908. When spring came, 



APPENDIX 3V3 

stores were sledged to Hut Point so that, should the sea-ice break up 
early between these two places, we might not be left in an awkward 
position. After the return of the Southern Party we went direct 
north to civilization, so I never visited my hut agaiu. I had left, 
however, full instructions with Professor David as to the care of the 
hut, and before the whole Expedition left, the hut was put in order. 
A letter was pinned in a conspicuous place inside, stating that there 
were sufficient provisions and equipment to last fifteen men for one 
year, indicating also the details of these provisions, and the position of 
the coal store. The stove was in good condition, and the letter ended 
with an invitation for any succeeding party to make what use they 
required of stores and hut. The hut was then locked, and the key 
nailed on the door in a conspicuous place. From the report of 
Captain Scott's last Expedition, the hut was in good condition, and 
from a still later report from the Boss Sea side of this present Ex- 
pedition, the hut was still intact. 

(3) Cape Evans Hut 

This large ajid commodious hut was constructed by Captain Scott 
at Cape Evans on his last Expedition. The party lived in it in com- 
fort, and it was left well supplied with stores in the way of food and 
oil, and a certain, amount of coal. Several of the scientific staff of 
this present Expedition were ashore in it, when the Aurora, which 
was to have been the permanent winter quarters, broke adrift in May, 
1915, and went north with the ice. The hut became the permanent 
living quarters for the ten marooned men, and thanks to the stores 
they were able to sustain life in comparative comfort, supplementing 
these stores from my hut at Cape Eoyds. In January, 1917, after I 
had rescued the survivors, I had the hut put in order and locked up. 

To sum up, there are three available huts in McMurdo Sound. 

(a) The Discovery Hut with a certain amount of rough stores, 
and only of use as a point of departure for the south. 

(&) Cape Eoyds Hut with a large amount of general stores, but 
no clothing or equipment now. 

(c) Cape Evans Hut with large amount of stores, but no clothing 
or equipment, and only a few sledges. 

(4) Depots South op the Hut Point 

In spite of the fact that several depots have been laid to the 
south of Hut Point on the Barrier, the last being at the Gap (the 
entrance to the Beardmore Glacier), no future Expedition should 



3T4 CROSSING THE SOUTH POLE 

depend on them as the heavy snowfall obliterates them completely. 
There is no record of the depots of any Expedition being made use 
of by any subsequent Expedition. No party in any of my Expe- 
ditions has used any depot laid down by a previous Expedition. 



INDEX 



Adabb, Cape, 325, 327, 347 

Admiralty, xiv, 214 
Range, 243 

Agag, 203 

Altken, 247 

AUardyee Range, 193 

Albatross, 175, 186-191 

Allen, James, xv 

Amphipods, 9 

Amundsen, vii 
(dog), 51 

" Ancient Mariner," 94, 175 

Annewkow Island, 180 

Animal life in Weddell Sea, 11, 12, 
13, 14, 23, 26, 93. See also Pen- 
guins, Seals and Bird Life 

Antarctic Circle, 16, 95, 114, 337 
Derby, 52 

Argentine, 37 

Armitage, Cape, 281, 299, 301 
Lieut., 299 

Atmospheric effects, 16, 35, 39, 41, 
45, 46, 49, 54, 64. See also Mi- 
rage and Sun 

Attempt to cut ship out, 34 

Aurora, xiii, 213, 224, 244-249, 264- 
271, 275, 301, 308-319, 333-345 

Aurora Australis, 46, 319, 320 

Australia, xv, 245, 340 

Bakeweix, 89 
Barne Glacier, 272, 273 
Barrier, 24, 25 
surface, 28, 59, 77 
Great Ice, 245, 248, 262, 263, 264, 
276-286, 290, 314 
Beardmore Glacier, ix, 245, 276, 280, 

285-287 
Beaufort Island, 316 
Belgica Straits, 134 
Bergs, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 19, 20, 22, 27, 
28, 38, 43, 45, 46, 64, 67, 121, 124, 
127, 139, 161, 163 

375 



Bergschrund, 200 

Bemsten, Mr., 316 

Bird life in Weddell Sea, 5, 8, 35, 

93, 117, 128, 131, 174 
Black Island, 250 
Blackborrow, 17, 139, 144, 158, 163, 

225, 231, 240, 242 
Blizzards, severe, 54, 55, 161, 163, 

225, 234, 283-294 
Bluff, 252, 254, 255, 258, 295 

depot, 281, 282, 283, 288, 291 
Blue Ice Glacier, 307 
Boats, 81, 82, 84, 99, 104, 106, 110, 

124, 127, 134, 136, 145, 148, 149, 

150, 158 
Bovril, 132, 148, 171, 200, 222, 236 
Brocklehurst, Capt. H. Courtney, 346 
Browning, 94 
Bruce, Dr. W. S., 23, 24 
British territory, 18 
Buenos Ayres, xiv, 222 
Burberry clothing, 79, 131, 132, 195, 

275 
Butler Point depot, 341 

Caibd Coast, xii, 28, 30 

Sir James, xii 
Caird, James (boat), xii, xiii, 103, 
110, 120, 122-144, 150-153, 160- 
175, 180-211 
Candlemas Volcano, 5 
Cape Barne, 273, 310, 311 

Bernacchi, 342 

Bird, 313 

Cotter, 325 

Crozier, 246, 248, 314 

Evans, 248, 265-284, 303-321, 333, 
341, 342 

Hudson, 322 

Horn weather, 159 

pigeons, 174, 175 

Ross, 316 

Royds, 272-275, 310, 314, 341 



3Y6 



INDEX 



Valentine, 146 
Wild, 151, 225 
Castle Rock, 262, 264, 265 
Cave Cove, 183 

Cheetham, 48, 71, 77, 142, 232, 345 
Chili, XV, 218, 220, 223 
Christmas celebrations, 15, 102, 333 
Clark, 8, 9, 24, 39, 42, 57, 64, 77, 148, 

237, 346, 362 
Clarence Island, 117-123, 129, 138, 

140 
Coats' Land, 2, 20, 23, 28 
Coal, Antarctic, ix 

on deck, 4 
Con (dog), 302 
Cook, 156, 162, 239 
Cope, 247, 249, 264, 265, 269, 271, 

274, 277, 282, 284, 306, 309, 341 
Corner Camp, 262, 318 
Coulman Islands, 323-324 
Crean, 31, 35, 44, 45, 51, 52, 64, 71, 

77, 81, 82, 92, 101, 111, 123, 132, 

139, 148, 155, 160, 176, 183, 186, 

189, 195, 201, 202, 204, 205, 207, 

211, 212 
Current meter, 46 
Cyclone, 50 

Dangee Islands, 117 

Davis, Captain, John K., 340-343 

Daylight saving, 65 

Deception Islands, 120, 133, 159, 211 

Diatoms, 5, 23, 57 

Discovery, 220, 300 

Bay, 309 

Mount, 258, 275 
Distances, Koss Sea Party, 301, 302 
Dogs, 2, 4, 14, 15, 19, 21, 25, 36, 37, 
41, 42, 45, 49, 50-71, 80-85, 104, 
109-113, 249-257, 271, 279-309 
Dog Pemmican, 111-113 
Dominican gulls, 117 
Dudley Docker, Mr., xii 
Dudley Docker (boat), xii, 103, 123- 

153, 228 
Dunlop Island, 318, 343 
Dump Camp, 79, 83, 85, 88 



Eclipse of moon, 306 

Bllaline Terriss, 220 

Elephant Island, xv, 117-163, 178, 

179, 188, 198, 204-222, 225-242 
Emma, 218 

Empire Day celebrations, 50 
Encyclopwdia Britannica, 93, 229 
Enderby Land, ix, 2 
Endurance, ix, 2-29 

abandoned, 76 

beset, 30-35, 36-78, 216 

crushed, 76-80 

sunk, 99 
Erebus, Mount, 262, 274, 275, 297 
Expedition ships, xi 

first made public, xi 

Mawson-, xi, 246, 340 

Shackleton, 272, 275, 340, 341 

Scott, xi, 269, 273, 275, 281, 284, 
287 

Swedish, 75 

Falkland Islands, ix, 159, 213, 216, 
216, 220, 221 

wireless listened for, 31, 37, 43 
Farthest South, 35 

Scott's, 281, 300 
Filchner, 2, 3, 28, 59 
Financial help, promised, xi 

appeal for, xii 

failure to materialize, xii 
Fish, new species, 42 

dead, 136 

from sea-leopard, 113 
P8hn effect, 55 
Fortuna Bay, 208, 204, 206 

Glacier, 203 
Franklin Island, 321-325 

Galley, 89, 108, 156 

Gallipoli, 213 

Garrard, Mr. Cherry, 281 

Gaze, 253, 264, 266, 269, 271, 274- 

285, 306-309 
Girling tractor-motor, 42, 84 
Glacier Bay, 27 
Tongue, 269, 307-313, 341, 343 



INDEX 



377 



Glasgow, H.M.S., 217 

Gold, 331, 332 

Graham Land, ix, 2, 63, 161 

Greenstreet, 60, 71, 73, 82, 106, 142, 

143, 345 
Grytviken, 4, 9, 210 
Gunner (dog), 302 

Halfway Camp, 278 

Harding, Mr., 215 

Hayward, 244, 249, 264, 265, 269, 270, 

277, 282, 283, 284, 287-306, 341, 

342, 346 
Harpoon, 4 

Hercules (dog), 45, 64 
Hobart, 245 
Holness, 126 
Hooke, 249, 264, 312, 315, 316, 319- 

320, 327-329, 335 
Hope Bay, 133, 135 

Mountain, 280, 283, 285, 286, 302 
Howe, 133 
Hudson, 8, 17, 31, 37, 71, 73, 77, 78, 

84, 87, 123, 225, 229, 240 
Hurley, 9, 13, 26, 40, 44, 50, 60, 65, 

70, 77, 78, 80, 82, 85, 101, 109, 

139, 146, 148, 165, 170, 225, 227, 

231 
Hurtado, Admiral MuSoz, xv 
Hussey, 10, 12, 15, 77, 78, 84, 95, 111, 

233, 239, 240, 345, 346 
Husvik, 193, 194, 195, 202-206, 213, 

214 
Hut, Cape Evans, 306, 342, 373 
Cape Royds, 273, 274, 372 
Elephant Island, 225-233 
at Hut Point, 300, 371 
Hut Point, 248-250, 262-266, 270, 

275-283, 289-318 

Ice-blink, 225 

Ice-hole, 161 

Inaccessible Island, 272, 274, 307, 

342 
Instituto de Pesca, xv, 216, 218 

Jack, 249, 253, 264, 265, 269, 270, 



272, 276, 277, 282, 284, 306, 341, 

343 
Jaeger sleeping bags, 80, 228 
James, 31, 52, 77, 78, 225, 231, 345 
Joiuville Land, 117, 118 
Joyce, 244, 245-251, 253-263, 265, 

269-293, 305-308, 341, 342 

Kavbnaqh, 322 

Kelvin sounding machine, 59 

Kerr, 48, 77, 228, 231, 345 

Khyber Pass, 52, 54 

Killer Whales, 22, 23, 35, 39, 83, 85, 

105, 126, 128, 131, 324 
King George V, flag, xiv, 89 

to inspect Endurance, xiii 

telegram from, 216 

telegram to, 319 
King Haakon Bay, 181, 184, 186, 190, 
193, 198, 210 

Lambton, Miss Elizabeth Dawson, xii 

Lamps, 171, 229, 259, 265 

Larkman, 328 

Leap Year day. 111 

Lees, 15, 77, 112, 142, 143, 227, 231 

Leith, 193 

Lucas sounding machine, 59 

Luitpold Land, 28 

Lusitamia, 212 

Mackintosh, xiii, 244, 245, 248-251, 

253-259, 264r-265, 269-290, 293- 

309, 341, 342, 345 
Macklin, 44, 52, 65, 77, 82, 106, 108, 

109, 111, 142, 160, 163, 231, 238, 

240, 241, 345-346 
Macquarie Island, 246, 315, 316, 320, ' 

327, 328, 335 
Magnetic Pole, viii, 320 
storm, 50 
variation, 31 
Magellan Straits, 224 
Marston, 44, 77, 148, 223, 227, 229, 

230, 231, 238, 241 
Mauger, 247, 331, 345 



378 



INDEX 



McCarthy, 148, 160, 161, 177, 179, 

189, 193, 195, 214, 241 
McDonald, Allen, 218 
Mcllroj', 44, 52, 65, 77, 105, 139, 
152, 1160, 163, 231, 238, 240, 326 
McLeod. 142 
McMurdo Sbund, 248, 265, 270, 272, 

303, 310, 312, 313, 315, 317 
McNab, Dr., xv, 340 
McNeish, 77, 160, 187, 194, 195, 196, 

214 
Meteorology, 353 

Midwinter's Day celebrations, 53, 238 
Minna BluflF, 276, 280 
Mirage, 34, 41, 42, 60, 99, 118 
Monte Video, 216, 224 
Morell Land, 60 

farthest south, 61 
Motor crawler, 33 

sledge, 81 

tractor, 249, 264, 275, 309 
Mount Haddington, 117 

Melbourne, 318, 319, 321, 322 

Murehison, 323 

Sabine, 243, 326, 327 
Mugridge, 328 
Mutton Island, 202 

New South Greenland, 61 

New Year Island, 37 

New Zealand, xv, 224, 245, 314, 315, 

317, 325, 333, 339, 340, 343 
Nigger (dog), 257 
Nimrod, vii, 24 
Ninnis, 247, 249, 264, 309, 312, 316, 

320, 330, 322 
Nordenskjold, 116, 229 

Ice Tongue, 320 
North Polar Basin, 3 
Norwegian Whalers, 213 
Nurse Cavell, 111 

Obita, 218 
Orwell, 213 
Oscar (dog), 300, 302 

Pack-Ioe, 5, 6, 8, 9, 21, 24, 29, 32, 35, 



38, 43, 54, 55, 63, 69, 87, 121, 

122, 136, 150, 163, 164, 166, 215, 

217, 219, 233, 234, 235, 248, 315, 

333, 338, 342 
described, 11, 16. See also Pres- 
sure 
Paddies, 236 
Pardo, Captain Luis, xv 
Paulet Island, 75, 77, 79, 95, 116 
Peak Berg, 46 
Peak Foreman, 322 
Pegotty Camp, 191, 193, 197, 210 
Peter (dog), 112 
Petrels, 8, 13, 20, 23, 92, 136. See 

also Bird Life 
Penguins, 13, 27, 64, 90, 93, 108, 113, 

333 
Adelie, 8, 12, 20, 23, 93, 109, 111, 

334 
Emperor, 10, 20, 25, 48, 49, 59, 68, 

74, 106, 111, 274, 316, 323, 332, 

333 
Gentoo, 155 

Ringed, 147, 150, 154, 237 
Pinkey (dog), 257, 258 
Plomhton, 39, 64 
Pompey (dog), 257 
Port Chalmers, 339, 341 
Positions, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 

16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 

31, 33, 41, 47, 58, 50, 67, 68, 70, 

72, 74, 190 
EoSB Sea Party, 245, 254, 319, 326, 

327, 331, 334, 336 
Possession Bay, 190, 198 

Islands, 326 
Porpoises, 174 
Potash and Perlmutter, 105 
Pram Point, 265 
Pressure in Weddell Sea, 3, 40, 44, 

54, 56, 58, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 71- 

76, 80-82, 104, 117 
in Ross Sea, 286, 311, 316, 317, 

322-328. See also Pack-ice 
Prince George Island, 120, 129 
Programme of Expedition, viil 
Public Schools, xiii 



INDEX 



379 



Pump, Coats', 170 

Punta Arenas, 218, 219, 220, 221, 

223, 235 
Pups, 45, 51, 64, 81, 82 

QuEEfr At.kxandba, 83 

Radiolaria, 15 

Eain, 116 

Eampart Berg, 40, 46, 60, 61 

Rats on South Georgia, 194 

Eazorback Island, 342 

Reeling Berg, 127-129, 133 

Refraction. See Atmospheric Effects 

Reindeer, 205 

Richards, 244, 245, 263, 264, 266, 
269-272, 276-279, 284-295, 299- 
309, 341 

Rickenson, 77, 85, 152, 225, 227, 345 

Rio Secco, 223 

Rocky Mountain Depot, 256 

Ross, 20, 22 
Island, 310 

Sea, X, 14, 53, 316, 317, 319, 341 
Sea Party, 213, 224, 244, 325, 341 

Royal Geographical Society, xii 

Ryan, Lieut., R.N.R., 218 

SiiLFETT Camp, 252, 262, 277-281, 290, 

301, 302 
Saint (dog), 38 
Sally (dog), 36, 81 
Samson (dog), 45 
Sanders Island, 5, 6 
Santiago, 234 
Saunders, Edward, 245 
Scientific work proposed, viii 

observations commenced, 39, 267 
Scott, vii, 254, 266, 289, 292, 300 
Scotia, 24, 25 
Seals, 13, 25, 26, 27, 36, 39, 64, 90, 

93, 103, 104, 108, 111, 113, 129, 

145, 146, 149, 155, 158, 161, 265, 

269, 290, 343 
Crab-eater, 10, 20, 32, 35, 38, 39, 

64, 65, 66, 81 
Ross, 8 



Weddell, 8, 32, 38, 39, 47, 65, 81, 

106 
Sea-elephants, 153, 155, 158, 190, 

192, 193 
Sea-leopard, 20, 112 
seal-blubber. 111, 112, 119, 158, 

237 
seal-meat, 39, 45 

Semaphore, on bridge, 7 
for sledging parties, 32 

Shags, 179 

Shackleton, Sir E., 48, HI, 142, 242, 
333 

Shoaling, of sea-floor, 43 

Shore Party, 2 

Sledging Parties, proposed, ix 

Snapper (dog), 82 

Snow Hill, 114 

Soldier (dog), 48 

Sorlle, Mr., 208, 210, 212, 213 

South Orkneys, 114, 354 

South Sandwich Group, 1, 3, 4 

Southern Sky, 213, 214, 215 

South Georgia, xiv, 1, 95, 116, 117, 
158, 159, 168, 174, 175, 177, 179, 
184, 193,. 196, 206, 211, 214 

Spencer-Smith, 244, 249, 253, 263, 
264, 269, 271, 276, 277, 281, 285- 
290, 295-302, 308, 309, 341, 346 

Splitting ice-floes, 17 

Stained Berg, 65 

Stancomb-Wills, Dame Janet, xii 

Stancomb Wills (boat), xii, 106, 110, 
123, 124, 126, 127, 130, 132, 133, 
134-144, 147-151, 162-166, 226 

Stenhouse, 244, 246, 266, 268, 309, 
310, 312, 313, 316, 331, 333, 334, 
335, 336, 338, 340, 346 

Stevens, 249, 266, 269, 271, 273, 274, 
279, 282, 306-309, 341 

Stove, 86, 109, 228, 265, 304 

Stromness, 188, 193, 198, 202, 203, 
204, 206, 211, 213 

Sue (dog), 81 

Sun disappears, 46 
sets twice, 45. See also Atmos- 
pheric Effects 



380 



INDEX 



Swell, 9, 33, 125, 133, 139, 150, 165, 
167 

Tkmpebattiee, air, 10, 14, 15, 32, 33, 
35, 39, 47, 49, 51, 53, 54, 55, 59, 
63, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74, 78, 85, 
96, 97, 99, 105, 113, 114, 132, 
135, 137, 142, 182, 200, 214, 226, 
230, 258, 260-262, 265, 269, 276, 
280, 295, 289, 301, 302, 318, 319, 
329 
sea, 10 

Tents, 96, 98, 130, 145, 153, 155, 161, 
225, 292, 302 
parties, 93 
orderlies, 81, 93 

Tent Island, 307, 309 

Terns, 23. See also Bird Life 

Thorn, Captain, 211, 214 

Thompson, 321 

" The Ritz," 40, 47, 53, 79 

Tide-rip, 124, 141 

Tobacco substitutes, 242 

Towser (dog), 302 

Trans-Continental Party, viii 

Tripp, Mr. Leonard, 245 

Tulloch, Mr., 246 

Turk's Head, 307 

Ubtjquayan Government, xv, 216, 
217, 224 

Vahsel Bay, 2, 26, 47 

Victoria Mountains, viii 

Vincent, 148, 160, 165, 166, 177, 187, 

195, 214 
Vinie's Hill, 304 
Virol, 171 

Wave, enormous, 177 
Weddell Sea, viii, ix, x, 1, 2, 3, 30, 47, 
95, 279, 344 
plateau, 59 

ice conditions in, 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 
13, 15, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 
31, 33, 34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 57, 59, 



60, 63, 66, 67, 68, 76, 80, 83, 95, 
98, 105, 106, 109, 110, 116, 120, 
121, 124, 128, 165, 166, 215 
winds in, 3, 53 

Weather at Cape Evans, 267, 268 
at Elephant Island, 153-155, 233- 

235 
at Ocean Camp, 96-99 
at Patience Camp, 113-117. See 
also Temperatures 

Western Mountains, 274, 316 

Whales, 23, 26, 28, 71, 109, 128, 362- 
370 
sperm, 20 

humpback and finner, seen, 7 
blue, 10, 12, 13, 20, 22 

Wilhelmina Bay, 61, 161 

Willy-waws, 150 

Winston Churchill, xiv 

Wild, Ernest, 244, 245, 249, 253, 254, 
259-261, 263, 265, 269-274, 277, 
280, 281, 287-290, 294, 298-303, 
306, 307, 341, 343, 345 
Frank, 7, 8, 10, 17, 44, 49, 52, 55, 
65, 66, 71, 77, 79, 89, 91, 101, 
103, 105, 106, 110, 123, 126, 128, 
131, 133, 139, 142, 145, 146, 148, 
149, 158, 159, 161, 164, 166, 168, 
204, 222, 225, 226, 227, 230, 232, 
234, 237, 240, 241, 242, 345 

Wordie, 28, 35, 39, 40, 49, 77, 84, 231, 
345 

Worsley, 5, 6, 7, 10, 15, 16, 17, 21, 31, 
35, 36, 39, 40, 45, 52, 55, 59, 66, 
70, 71, 72, 77, 84, 85, 96, 103, 
105, 112, 118, 123, 128, 132, 133, 
139, 141, 146, 152, 158, 159, 160, 
163, 164, 174, 176, 177, 188, 194, 
195, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 207, 
210, 211, 218, 221, 224, 346, 358 

Wreckage at South Georgia, 196 

Yaks, 119 

Yelcho, XV, 218, 221, 222, 223, 224 

Young Island, 332 

Young, Mr. Douglas, 215 



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